Injunction for Lower Stumble

Following recent events at the Leith Hill protestor camp and the creation of a further protestor camp at the Horse Hill well site (now protected by a High Court injunction), Angus believed it prudent to ask the High Court for an injunction  protecting the Balcombe site, and Angus’ rights to access the site, in respect of the upcoming flow test.   The injunction was granted by the Court on Thursday 13 September and will be formally served shortly.

In summary, the injunction prohibits acts of trespass at the Balcombe site and also prohibits persons unknown from committing any of the following offences or unlawful acts on that part of the B2036 (London Road) that travels north from the Balcombe site  until it reaches junction 10(a) of the M23 (excluding public footpaths and pavements), namely:

  • blocking the highway with persons or things when done with a view to slowing down or stopping the traffic, and with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site;
  • slow walking in front of vehicles with the object of slowing them down, and with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and/or or visitors to the Balcombe site;
  • climbing onto vehicles;
  • otherwise, unreasonably and/or without lawful authority or excuse, preventing Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site from access to, and/or egress from the site;
  • otherwise, unreasonably and/or without lawful authority or excuse, obstructing the highway, with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site.

The unlawful acts noted above also give rise to criminal offences, which, if committed  may entitle the Police to exercise their powers of arrest (as they consider appropriate).

Angus have observed that other oil & gas sites that are protected by similar injunctions have had a marked decrease in protestor activity during operational periods.   They therefore hope this pre-emptive injunction will help in minimising any disruption during the upcoming flow test.

Angus are currently progressing with site preparation, for example, installing an impermeable bund, and look to progress the actual flow test in due course.    See pictures below:-

14 Sept 18 Set Up Lower Stumble

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STOP PRESS 13 September

Angus Energy have now informed us that they are progressing with site preparation this week, (installing an impermeable bund), and look to progress the actual flow test in the last week of September subject to final sign off by the relevant regulators.

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STOP PRESS – ANGUS ENERGY/LOWER STUMBLE

At 11.02 am today Wednesday 12 September Mid Sussex District Council informed Balcombe Parish Council that the planning conditions for Lower Stumble Flow Testing were discharged by Angus Energy on Monday 10 September, and at that time they gave West Sussex County Council 7 day’s notice that the work to flow test is likely to start week commencing  Monday 17 September.   We have been told that site preparation is currently underway.    MSDC will keep us up-to-date with a daily  briefing and we will pass this information on to the community to keep all residents informed about activities at the site.

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Angus Energy CLG Minutes

Herewith the Minutes from the inaugural meeting of the Angus Energy Community Liaison Group.   Responsibility for the Minutes falls to Angus Energy under the Terms of Reference of the Group.

Please click on the link below:-

Minutes Angus CLG 1 Balcombe 05 Sept 2018

Balcombe Parish Council’s own notes are available here:-

BPC Notes CLG 1 Angus Energy 5 Sept 18

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Lower Stumble Flow Test

Capture

BALCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL has been 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 regarding forthcoming flow test activity at Lower Stumble in Balcombe. CLG members are encouraged to discuss any matters raised at the meetings with other members of the local community and bring their views to the meeting. The CLG is not a decision making body. Four residents are also invited to sit on this Group. The next meeting will be on Thursday 20 September.

For this reason BPC has decided to invite individuals or village organisations to submit an application to the Clerk and has called an Extraordinary Meeting on Monday 17 September at 8.00 pm in the PARISH ROOM for Councillors to vote for the candidates.   Four will be chosen with two in reserve, in case a representative cannot attend on any occasion. There will be no discussion about individuals, and depending on the number of applicants, there may be an opportunity for candidates to speak for a short time. Anyone who applies but cannot attend the meeting on Monday 17 September will still be considered and may nominate an individual to speak on their behalf.

Please email the Clerk by midday 17 September parish.clerk@btconnect.com or call 01444 811833 to apply.

The Agenda for the Extraordinary Meeting is now on this website under the Minutes/Agendas tab – Agendas 17/18.

Please note that the CLG is a condition of the Planning Approval. No information on precise 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, not for revisiting the debate around the granting of planning and environmental permits. That will not be tolerated by the Chairman, Bill Acraman of West Sussex County Council.

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Angus Energy Community Liaison Group Terms of Reference

Please click on the link below:-

Condition 21 Community Liaison Group (29Aug2018)

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Lower Stumble – Community Liaison Group

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).

Balcombe 7 Day Flow Test – Angus Information

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 Flow Test FAQ @7.9.18 – Autumn 2018

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.

 

 

 

 

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