Environment Agency Grants Permit – What Next?

Published by FFBRA on

The Environment Agency has granted Cuadrilla Resources Balcombe a variation to and part surrender of the existing EA permit at Balcombe which was previously open to consultation and closed in June 2018. Thank you to the 600+ people who objected to this application.

FFBRA’s concerns remain the same regarding the lack of baseline data, no reference to the faulted landscape, proximity of the village to the well site and the design and untested nature of the flare,

References to documentation:

For more detailed information see Drill or Drop’s “EA grants new permit for Balcombe oil site – but orders work before flow test can start”

What does this mean for the Balcombe well site?

Cuadrilla received planning permission to return to Balcombe in January 2018 and received OGA consent for Angus Energy to be the Operator.

There are 5 conditions of the EA permit which will need to be met; and 21 conditions in the planning decision document which will need to be completed and approved by WSCC, in addition to any further permits required by the Environment Agency, in order for work to start at the Lower Stumble site in Balcombe.

Examples of WSCC condtions:

Condition 3 of the planning consent states that “Prior written notification of the date of commencement of each Stage 1 Activity (mobilisation, flow-test, pressure monitoring) hereby approved shall be sent to the Minerals Planning Authority not less than seven days and no more than 14 days before commencement of each Stage 1 Activity. Reason: To inform the Minerals Planning Authority of potential disruptive periods in the interests of amenity.

Condition 21 of the planning consent states that “Prior to commencement of the development hereby approved, the applicant shall submit a scheme for approval in writing by the County Planning Authority detailing the establishment of a local liaison group to include representation from the site operator, WSCC and local residents. The scheme shall include its objectives, membership, frequency and location of meetings and arrangements for the publication of minutes.
Liaison group meetings shall be held in accordance with the approved scheme.
Reason: In the interests of the local amenities of the area.

FFBRA is currently liaising with the WSCC planners to understand which if any of the conditions have been discharged.

The conditions of the planning decision can be seen on the planning decision document – WSCC 040 17 BA Decision Notice.pdf – within the WSCC planning portal and the conditions of the EA permit can be seen on the EA Decision Notice.