Current Status and Timelines

Of planning submissions, licenses and permits

Posted by Voice for Leith Hill on March 2, 2017

Breaking News: Leith Hill is saved!!!

The Secretary of State for the Environment has decided against signing off on the Forestry Commissions site lease extension to Europa, which expired at the start of September - as a result Europa are now pulling outt!!!!!


In 2011, Surrey County Council refused permission for a planning application to explore for oil and gas at Leith Hill. The decision was appealed, and the subsequent public inquiry again rejected permission. That decision was then challenged in the High Court, which found favour with the applicant resulting in a second public inquiry. This unfortunately coincided with a change in the planning regulations, and as a result the government planning inspectorate decided to grant permission.

The Government Planning Inspectorate's decision (ref: APP/B3600/A/11/2166561) is here.

Environment Agency Permit Applications

Despite extensive public and expert representations against the application, the EA has now granted Europa permits for Leith Hill. </p>

Surrey County Council Planning Applications

Surrey County Council planning application register is here.

The full list of required submissions (some of which, e.g. traffic management plan, are still pending) can be found listed in the approval conditions of planning inspectorate's decision, linked above.

Also, there is one further fencing application relating to 2016/0151 below concerning the installation of security fencing around borehole testing areas which Surrey County Council has confirmed as permitted development. This means the proposal does not require public consultation. We are currently awaiting direction from the Secretary of State as to whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is still needed and whether the application should be called in as a full, standard application.

Ref Title Status Action Required
2017/0212 Traffic Management Plan v2 Withdrawn by Applicant
2017/0027 Traffic Management Plan Withdrawn by Applicant
2017/0024 Traffic Survey Published traffic survey results
2017/0028 Noise monitoring plan Approved by Delegated Powers 22/06/2017
2017/0001 1.1 metre high reptile fence Withdrawn by Applicant
2016/0232* Perimeter security fencing (identical to 2016/0170, but now extended for 52 weeks) 52 week version of the 18 week application that was just quashed via Judicial Review, and has now been passed again.
2016/0194 Landscape and Restoration Plan Approved by Planning Committee 22/03/2017
2016/0193 Pre and post development condition survey Approved by Planning Committee 22/02/2017
2016/0170* Perimeter security fencing (see also 2016/0232 above) Rejected (approval quashed via Judicial Review)
2016/0151 Groundwater and Surface Water Baseline Quality and Monitoring Approved by Delegated Powers 21/10/2016
2016/0132 Ecological Monitoring and Management Plan Approved by Delegated Powers 05/09/2017
2016/0104 Light Management Plan Approved by Planning Committee 07/12/2016
2016/0103 Dust Suppression Scheme Approved by Delegated Powers 08/12/2016

* asterisked items denote new, additional planning applications rather than submissions concerning the fulfillment (or "discharge") of the conditions previously specified by the planning inspectorate.