Agenda and draft minutes

Planning and Regulatory Committee - Wednesday, 27 April 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Surrey County Council, Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8EF

Contact: Joss Butler  Email: joss.butler@surreycc.gov.uk

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30/22

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

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    To receive any apologies for absence and notices of substitutions under Standing Order 41.

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    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Jonathan Hulley. Buddhi Weerasinghe acted as a substitute. 

     

31/22

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING pdf icon PDF 195 KB

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    To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2022.

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    Minutes:

    The Minutes were APPROVED as an accurate record of the previous meeting.

32/22

PETITIONS

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    To receive any petitions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 84 (please see note 7 below).

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    Minutes:

    There were none.

33/22

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

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    To answer any questions received from local government electors within Surrey in accordance with Standing Order 85 (please see note 8 below).

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    Minutes:

    There were none.

34/22

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME

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    To answer any questions received from Members of the Council in accordance with Standing Order 68.

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    Minutes:

    There were none.

35/22

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

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    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter

    (i)            Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or

    (ii)           Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting

    NOTES:

    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest

    ·         As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

     

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    Minutes:

    There were none.

36/22

Minerals/Waste MO/2021/2103 - Brockham Wellsite, Land at Felton's Farm, Old School Lane, Brockham, Betchworth, Surrey RH3 7AU pdf icon PDF 637 KB

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    The retention of the BRX4 well for reperforation to allow for appraisal and production of hydrocarbons for a temporary period.

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    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Caroline Smith (Planning Group Manager)

    Stephen Jenkins (Planning Development Manager)

    Sonia Sharp (Senior Highways and Planning Solicitor)

    Joss Butler (Committee Manager)

    Chris Turner (Senior Planning Officer)

     

    Speakers:

     

    Jerry Hamilton made representations in objection to the application. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    That BP’s original proposals included promises to the local community and that the community were now dealing with Angus Energy.

    2.    Provided a comparison between BP and Angus Energy.

    3.    That Angus Energy had exposed gaps between regulators and pushed boundaries to see what they could get away with.

    4.    That Angus Energy’s procedures and record keeping had been found to be inadequate.

    5.    That local people needed more reassurance.

    6.    That Angus Energy had stated that the volume of water produced from the site alone was insufficient yet no application had been submitted to bring water from other sites.

    7.    Questioned whether, in the future, the site would turn from a failed oil producer to a waste disposal site.

    8.    Asked that, if approved, the committee ensured that safeguards were put in place by drilling monitoring boreholes to monitor any possible ground water contamination. It was also asked that monitoring data was reported publicly.

     

    The applicant, George Lucan, spoke in response to the public speakers’ comments. The following key points were made:

     

    1.    That the site’s predecessors had breached planning policy.

    2.    That the applicant had committed to engaging with the local community and recently held a site visit for local Members to observe the site and local water monitoring data.

    3.    That the company was now very different from the one three years ago.

    4.    That the site was compliant and had received safety upgrades over the previous three years.

    5.    That protestors had been a nuisance to the local community.

    6.    That Angus Energy had promoted its desire to use hydrocarbon revenue and redeploy them into alternative energy production.

    7.    That transition to alternative energy needed to be a measured and steady process. 

     

    The Local Member, Helyn Clack, made the following comments:

     

    1.    That the community had a good relationship with the previous site developer.

    2.    The community had lost trust with the current site developer.

    3.    That the Local Member had not been invited to inspect the site.

    4.    Queried whether 15 years was a temporary permission.

    5.    Asked for details on the restoration of the site if oil was not found.

    6.    Asked whether the developer would set up a local liaison group to discuss issues and progress throughout the development period.

    7.    In the event of earthquake activity in the area, the Local Member asked whether the applicant would cease all work onsite until an investigation was completed on whether or not the site’s activities had an involvement.

    8.    Highlighted that local residents had complained about a bad smell in Brockham during exploration on site. The Local Member asked whether the applicant would ensure that no noise or emissions impacted local residents.

    9.    Asked whether the applicant would ensure that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36/22

37/22

ENFORCEMENT & MONITORING UPDATE REPORT pdf icon PDF 435 KB

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    Whilst officers report annually to the committee, due to the pandemic and inability to carry out regular monitoring, this report covers the period from 1 January 2020 – 31 March 2022.

     

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    Minutes:

    Officers:

    Ian Gray, Planning Enforcement Team Leader

     

    Key points raised during the discussion:

     

    1.    Officers introduced the report and noted that it covered the period from 1 January 2020 – 31 March 2022. Members also noted that the report was for information and did not include a decision.

    2.    Officers provided an overview of the monitoring and reporting process for a monitoring visit. Members noted that the number of overall monitoring visits had reduced from previous years.

    3.    The Committee thanked officers for their work to support enforcement and monitoring.

    4.    The Committee discussed issues related to noise levels from D&E Roberts Recycling Yard as noted within the report. A Member stated that, as with previous sites with similar circumstances, due to having multiple different ownerships and multiple different regulatory schemes, enforcement could be challenging. The Member further stated that they believed there was a need for a legislation change to aid resolution during circumstances like this. The Committee agreed that the Chairman write to the relevant minister to outline the difficulties that the County Council faced and to lobby for change.

    5.    The Chairman moved that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information under the relevant paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act. The committee agreed to move into Part 2 (Private).

     

    Resolved:

     

    The Committee noted the report.

38/22

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

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    The next meeting of the Planning & Regulatory Committee will be on 25 May 2022.

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    Minutes:

    The date of the next meeting was noted.