Installation of on-site facilities comprising hardstanding, site office, site toilet facilities, site security office and mess facility; storage containers; lighting units incorporating CCTV equipment; 2.4 metres high palisade fence and gates; electrical control buildings; portable site generator with 2 no. enclosed fuel tanks, and parking area for car/van until 31 December 2036 with restoration to agriculture (retrospective).
Alan Stones, Planning Development Team Manager
Caroline Smith, Transport Development Planning Manager
A resident, on behalf of Ms Smith, made the following points:
1. The resident referred to a current dispute between the County Planning Authority and the Applicant regarding the BRX-4Z side track for which no planning permission was granted. It was said that the buildings within the current application were to support production from the disputed side track and therefore the applicant should not be granted while the dispute was unresolved.
2. It was stated that the applicant could not be trusted due to previous disputes.
3. Concern was raised regarding the method of extraction as it was not well regulated in the UK.
4. The Committee were asked to defer the application.
Helyn Clack, the Local Member, made the following points:
1. Concern was raised over the progression and long period of time intended for site development.
2. She highlighted the current dispute with the applicant outlined in the report and asked the Committee to take into consideration how this would affect the present and future applications coming before Committee.
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. Officers introduced the report and the update sheet (attached as annex A) tabled at the meeting. The Committee noted the visual impacts of the application and that the site was 500m from the nearest property. Officers highlighted that the site was well concealed and therefore visual impacts were said to be no cause for concern. Members noted Condition 6 of the report which related to the installation of CCTV on the site. Officers suggested to the Committee that further wording be added to the informatives in order to make them more explicit. It was noted that this was a retrospective application and shold not be treated negatively because of that.
2. The Committee sought clarification on whether there was enforcement action on the site at the present time. Officers confirmed that there was not.
3. The Committee discussed the site visit which Members previously attended and highlighted that some pictures within the report were outdated. There was concern with some comments made during the site visit which suggested that this application was forward looking for future exploration.
4. A Member was disturbed to learn that the applicant would be using acidization methods for extraction rather than water injection and felt this could have been better publicised.
5. Members discussed the previous disputes with the applicant regarding planning permission which some thought it necessary to take into account when making a decision on the current application. Officers advised against this due to the application being specifically for the installation of on-site facilities.
6. Further discussion was had relating to the possibility of a deferral but this was later dismissed due to there being no planning grounds to do so.
7. The Committee agreed to add an additional informative which encouraged the applicant to engage with the community and the County Planning Authority in all works going forward.
1. For application MO/2017/0916 - Brockham Well Site, Felton's Farm, Old School Lane, Brockham, RH3 7AU to be permitted subject to conditions.
Actions/further information to be provided:
For an additional informative to be added which encourages the applicant to engage with the community and the County Planning Authority on all works going forward.