BALCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL was approached at very short notice to participate in a Community Liaison Group (CLG) with Angus Energy, WSCC, The Environment Agency and MSDC. The CLG has been set up to provide a conduit for information to and from the local community and Angus Energy regarding the forthcoming flow test activity at Lower Stumble in Balcombe. The first meeting took place on Wednesday 5 September. The following information was supplied by Angus Energy (Please click on the link below).
The next meeting is scheduled to take place on 20 September and before this time Balcombe Parish Council will seek to recruit 4 residents to be part of the Community Liaison Group. We will be communicating with the village in the next few days to let everyone know how this will be done: we will be transparent about the process and for this reason we felt that we could not fairly recruit 4 people to attend the first meeting.
Please note that the CLG is a condition of the Planning Approval. No information on timescales for any activity at Lower Stumble has been given to date and Balcombe Parish Council will update you through our website as soon as we can. We would also point out that the Community Liaison Group is intended as a method of conveying information back to villagers, not for revisiting the debate around the granting of planning and environmental permits. That will not be permitted by the Chairman, Bill Acraman.
Full notes from the meeting will be available shortly but herewith a link to a document compiled by Angus of Frequently Asked Questions with questions asked by Balcombe Parish Council below.
BALCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL QUESTIONS SUBMITTED – 5 September 2018
Question: I assume that this is a private meeting and the terms of reference of the liaison group will not be met until the Parish Council has elected the community representatives on the 19th September. Does this mean therefore that the discharge of this condition in the planning decision notice and subsequent flow test will not start until after the 19th September and the inaugural Community Liaison Group has been arranged?
Answer: Yes this will be a private meeting and the condition No 21 in the planning decision notice has been discharged because it reads as follows:-
“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.”
This does not indicate that the meetings have to have taken place before the work starts just that a local liaison group should have been established. Having said this Angus Energy are keen to stress that they would be happy to repeat the presentation when the four representatives come on board to bring them up to speed at the next meeting, and would be happy to arrange further site visits by appointment for those interested.
Question: Is the injunction to keep protesters to the allocated site still in place and will it be enforced by the police.
Answer: Angus has no injunction. The present injunction is through WSCC. WSCC have promised that they will follow this up to find out whether it is still fit for purpose and can be enforced.
Question: What is Angus Energy’s financial status, what reserves are in place for contingency and crisis management? Who provides insurance cover?
Answer: Angus is publicly listed on the stock market. Other information is commercially sensitive so not available. The Oil & Gas Authority has given permission for this activity which means that insurance is in place and there is adequate finance.
Question: The Community Liaison Group should be in the public forum – all Balcombe residents should attend? Can Angus organise a public meeting to introduce themselves and explain their plans to the community?
Answer: It was agreed that the CLG should not be in the public forum because this would be unworkable. Angus said that perhaps a public meeting could happen after the flow test because there is not much to say beforehand.