Guildford Local Plan consultation ends Monday 18 July

Don’t forget to get responses in to the Guildford local plan before 18 July.

Details of the plan itself are here:
http://www.guildford.gov.uk/newlocalplan/

and suggestions, ideas and prompts for your own responses (feel free to agree or disagree!) are here:
http://www.guildfordgreenbeltgroup.co.uk/index.php/issues/guildford-local-plan-2016

Advertisements

Surrey County Council has approved gas extraction at Albury on 13 July

Surrey County Council approved gas extraction at Albury. The local county councillor, Keith Taylor, both spoke and voted in favour of the motion, apparently noting “locally it is not seen as a big issue”.

Surrey County Council has backed plans by IGas to convert an exploration site near Guildford to gas production.

This morning, members of the planning committee voted by eight to two to approve the company’s application to produce compressed natural gas at Albury.

The site, where gas exploration has been carried out intermittently since 1987, is in the Green Belt and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has nature and landscape protections.

Councillors accepted the advice of planning officers that national policy to maximise the exploitation of oil and gas amounted to exceptional or special circumstances and that they outweighed any harm from the development to the surrounding area.

For a fuller report see this link:

Surrey councillors approve 15 years of gas production in AONB

Surrey County Council to decide about gas extraction in Surrey Hills AONB on 13/7

A proposal to allow gas extraction at Albury Heath will be decided by Surrey County Council on WEDNESDAY 13 July.

This is clearly urgent – and it has been kept very quiet.

More information is given here:

Go-ahead recommended for gas production in Surrey protected landscape against planning policy

Independent bodies like CPRE have questioned whether it is right to go ahead. http://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-do/energy-and-waste/shale-gas

The government promised NOT to allow fracking in AONBs (Areas of outstanding natural beauty). We’re told this isn’t fracking, in that there isn’t hydraulic fracturing, but is the production of Compressed natural gas, using HGVs along New Road in Albury. Compressed gas will be moved along our narrow rural roads; there will be some lighting associated with the development and the operation will be 24/7.

Surrey County Council have responsibility for planning in relation to mineral rights and so have the right to determine this. They have claimed that they have carried out 3 public consultations on proposed fracking at Albury Heath, but as far as we know, most residents were not informed.

If you aren’t happy about this, tell your Surrey County Councillor. This is the body that will make this decision and until Friday it will not be binding. There is a very short window to challenge this, but even if the consultation is formally closed, we can complain until the decision is made.

The Surrey County Councillor for the Shere ward is Keith Taylor. You can write to him at:

Keith Taylor
Tara
Send Marsh Road
Ripley
Woking
GU23 6JR

or keith.taylor@surreycc.gov.uk

but in case of non-reply you can copy Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council
Contact Centre
Room 296-298
 County Hall
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2DN

contact.centre@surreycc.gov.uk

too.

For background information, although they do not have a vote on this, you can also tell the borough councillors for the Tillingbourne ward (Richard Billington richard.billington@guildford.gov.uk and David Wright david.wright@guildford.gov.uk)

and the Surrey Hills AONB Board (Chairman, David Wright – this is the same David Wright who is the local borough councillor – david.wright@guildford.gov.uk)

and your MP ( paul.beresford@parliament.uk – his secretary is annie.winsbury@parliament.uk)

Letter on Albury gas from Frack-free Surrey

This is a template letter published by Frack Free Surrey, which we have been given kind permission to publicise and which may be a useful template:

APPLICATION NO: GU15/P/02110

 

Proposed development at: Albury Park Wellsite, East of New Road, Albury, Surrey.

Island Gas Limited.

 

Dear Councillor,

I wish to object in the strongest terms to the application by IGas for production at the above site. As you know, planning applications have to be decided against national and local planning policy. The IGas proposals conflict with policies in the:

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • Surrey Minerals Plan
  • Guildford Local Plan
  • Metropolitan Green Belt

The recent planning officers report defined the proposal as a “major development”. Under the NPPF paragraph 116, planning permission should be refused for major developments in AONBs except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest.

The planning officers accepted the development would have:

“some detrimental effect on the landscape and would not enhance the natural beauty of the AONB during either the construction or operational period.” That the proposal amounted to “significant harm” to the Green Belt by encroaching on openness.

The proposal also breached policies designed to protect the AONB in the Surrey Minerals Plan and Guildford Local Plan.

The Surrey Minerals Plan policies MC2 and MC14 state that minerals developments in the AONB can be approved only if they have been demonstrated to be in the public interest, there is a need for them and there will be no significant adverse impacts on the appearance, quality and character of the landscape.

Policies RE5 and RE6 in the Guildford Local Plan seek to conserve the visual quality or distinctive character of the AONB. Policy RE2 states that new building would be inappropriate unless it prevents sprawl, reserves character or assists urban regeneration.

The planning officers’ report also says that the proposal would harm ancient woodland by creating car parking on the access track. The NPPF says loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats, such as ancient woodland has to be outweighed by benefits.

I reject, in the strongest terms, the conclusion of the planning officer that all of the above negative impacts can simply be outweighed by a national ‘need’ for ‘indigenous’ gas supply.

 

The recently released DECC Committee on Climate Change report stipulates that UK onshore gas production should only be permitted

If three vital conditions are in place

https://www.theccc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/CCC-Compatibility-of-onshore-petroleum-with-meeting-UK-carbon-budgets.pdf

– none of these conditions, especially Carbon Capture and Storage technologies, are remotely certain to be met.

 

I implore you to reject this proposal in an AONB as there are no reasonable ‘exceptional circumstances’ and it is clearly not in the national public interest, given our legally binding climate change mitigation commitments, and it is certainly not in the local public interest.

 

Air pollution and emissions

 

The period of gas flaring is very concerning for a number of reasons.

 

The Research Journal of Environmental and Earth Sciences 4(5): 525-528, 2012 states:

‘Gas flares have harmful effects on the health and livelihood of the communities in their vicinity, as they release a variety of poisonous chemicals. Some of the combustion by-products include nitrogen dioxides, sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds like benzene, toluene, xylene and hydrogen sulfide, as well as carcinogens like benzo(a)pyrene and dioxins. Humans exposed to such substances can suffer from variety of serious ill-health effects.’

 

No detailed analysis has been produced of the gas to be flared. This is a serious omission from the application.

 

Evidence of gas flaring from the USA and Australia suggests that the total harm caused by flaring pollutants is more than the sum of the individual components.

 

Natural gas processing is a significant source of fugitive emissions of both methane and volatile organic hydrocarbons (VOCs). The World Bank estimates that every year, some 360 million tonnes of CO2 is released to the atmosphere through flaring and venting. This has a detrimental effect on the environment, contributing significantly to global warming and acidification of both land and sea. A considerable proportion of this CO2 comes from the production of Oil and Gas. At a crucial point in human history, if we are to avoid runaway climate change ‘keeping it in the ground’ needs to be the concern of every public authority, and indeed the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008 places legal obligations on public bodies to comply with emission reductions targets relating to climate change. These duties require that a public body must, in exercising its functions, act in the way best calculated to contribute to the delivery of emissions reduction targets. Flaring is incompatible with this objective, which is why there are international calls for ‘green completions’, involving the capturing of the gas – this is not proposed at this site.

 

 

Gas compressor emissions

 

Very concerning for the local population is the proposed notion of powering the gas compressor by burning some of the gas from the well 24/7 for 15 years. There needs to be a detailed analysis of the effects of the exhaust emissions of this from a variety of aspects: human health, ecology, local amenity impacts e.g. from those using the nearby playing fields. Moreover, the effect on vegetation is likely to be very significant.  

 

Traffic and Transportation

 

The increase in vehicle movements is very concerning, given the nature of their load. In effect there will be a couple of tonnes of compressed gas being moved on a daily basis. These vehicles are a serious danger to not only the local population around the site but to those on the route to the ultimate destination. A recent US study, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, showed that vehicle crashes are the single biggest cause of fatalities to oil and gas workers while the increase in onshore gas production has resulted in a 350% increase in traffic fatalities in regions where gas production is occurring.

 

The roads around in AONB are totally inappropriate for these sorts of vehicle movements, and the villages the HGVs will pass through are densely populated and the roads very narrow in places.

 

I urge you to reject this proposal.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Surrey CC email list

 

tim.hall@surreycc.gov.uk; keith.taylor@surreycc.gov.uk; tim.hall@surreycc.gov.uk; keith.taylor@surreycc.gov.uk; steve.cosser@surreycc.gov.uk; carol.coleman@surreycc.gov.uk; margaret.hicks@surreycc.gov.uk ; ernest.mallett@surreycc.gov.uk; michael.sydney@surreycc.gov.uk; richard.wilson@surreycc.gov.uk; jonathan.essex@surreycc.gov.uk ; marisa.heath@surreycc.gov.uk; mary.angell@surreycc.gov.uk; ian.beardsmore@btinternet.com; stephen.cooksey@surreycc.gov.uk ; will.forster@surreycc.gov.uk; denis.fuller@surreycc.gov.uk; ramon.gray@surreycc.gov.uk; nicholas.harrison@surreycc.gov.uk; peter.hickman@surreycc.gov.uk ; john.orrick@surreycc.gov.uk; adrian.page@surreycc.gov.uk; chris.pitt@surreycc.gov.uk; fiona.white@surreycc.gov.uk; chris.townsend@surreycc.gov.uk;

Surrey County Council to decide on gas production at Albury on 13 July

A proposal to allow gas extraction at Albury Heath will be decided by Surrey County Council on WEDNESDAY 13 July.

This is clearly urgent – and it has been kept very quiet.

More information is given here:

Go-ahead recommended for gas production in Surrey protected landscape against planning policy

Independent bodies like CPRE have questioned whether it is right to go ahead. http://www.cpre.org.uk/what-we-do/energy-and-waste/shale-gas

The government promised NOT to allow fracking in AONBs  (Areas of outstanding natural beauty). We’re told this isn’t fracking, in that there isn’t hydraulic fracturing, but is the production of Compressed natural gas, using HGVs along New Road  in Albury. Compressed gas will be moved along our narrow rural roads; there will be some lighting associated with the development and the operation will be 24/7.

Surrey County Council have responsibility for planning in relation to mineral rights and so have the right to determine this. They have claimed that they have carried out 3 public consultations on proposed fracking at Albury Heath, but as far as we know, most residents were not informed.

If you aren’t happy about this, tell your Surrey County Councillor. This is the body that will make this decision and until Friday it will not be binding. There is a very short window to challenge this, but even if the consultation is formally closed, we can complain until the decision is made.

The Surrey County Councillor for the Shere ward is Keith Taylor. You can write to him at:

Keith Taylor
Tara
Send Marsh Road
Ripley
Woking
GU23 6JR

or keith.taylor@surreycc.gov.uk

but in case of non-reply you can copy Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council
Contact Centre
Room 296-298
 County Hall
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames
Surrey KT1 2DN

contact.centre@surreycc.gov.uk

too.

For background information, although they do not have a vote on this, you can also tell the borough councillors for the Tillingbourne ward (Richard Billington richard.billington@guildford.gov.uk and David Wright david.wright@guildford.gov.uk)

and the Surrey Hills AONB Board (Chairman, David Wright  – this is the same David Wright who is the local borough councillor – david.wright@guildford.gov.uk)

and your MP ( paul.beresford@parliament.uk – his secretary is annie.winsbury@parliament.uk)