Update on UKOG Planning application
There have been two significant changes to the progress of this application from UKOG (234) Ltd to drill for oil/gas on land down High Loxley Road, just outside the village.
1) SCC Planning Committee:
The hearing was due March 25th but has been delayed again until April 16th; with the impact of the coronavirus emergency it is possible that SCC will have to postpone all such hearings further. TBC
2) ACCESS ROUTE to the site:
As most of you will know, UKOG was applying for two possible access routes– the original option was to turn in at Pratts Corner Junction where High Loxley Road meets the B2130 (Hascombe to Cranleigh road). As all locals know, this is a dangerous bend with many accidents and near misses. This fact seemed to have been recognised by UKOG and so they applied for alternative route further along the B2130, almost opposite the exit from Park Hatch. However, earlier in March UKOG withdrew this alternative and they are now reverting to the Pratts Corner option.
UKOG proposes to use ‘temporary’ traffic lights and a 30 mph speed restriction in both directions to slow or stop normal traffic when the tankers and HGV vehicles are turning into – or coming out of – High Loxley Road. Their current application is for a 3-year exploratory licence, so that’s the first ‘temporary’ stage, then if oil or gas if found at commercial levels they would move to a 25 – 30 year production facility, with increased attendant traffic.
The permitted development at Dunsfold Park has earmarked High Loxley Road as a riding, cycling and walking connection to Dunsfold Village and use of this access for the level of HGV movements proposed would undoubtedly be a cause of danger.
Protect Dunsfold feels that most people locally felt High Loxley Road/Pratts Corner was not being seriously considered as the access route for the proposed well site and will be unaware that the alternative access application was withdrawn at last moment, leaving Pratts Corner, with it negative impacts, safety concerns and shortcomings as the sole option. Not only will there be delays, inevitably drivers will start to use alternative ‘rat runs’ to bypass Pratts Corner, like Hookhouse Lane and Alfold Road.
The UKOG Transport Statement is very confusing and leaves questions unanswered. An independent professional report on the traffic planning considerations has been commissioned; further information will be made available to you as soon as possible, on the Waverley Against Drilling Facebook page or website, or via this e-newsletter.
Meanwhile, we encourage all residents and interested people to submit further objections to the UKOG proposal, based on the unsuitability of access route proposed, traffic management scheme and road safety issues. We have until April 10th for all objections.
For objections link to SCC planning page – SCC Ref 2019/0072
The recent planning approval of the production phase at Horse Hill has drawn heavy criticism. Sarah Finch is aiming for a judicial review of the decision and you can read the story, and donate to her cause here: