Information this morning Monday 24 September – Angus Energy received all regulatory permissions to start the well test at Lower Stumble last Friday. The test has now officially commenced. They will be posting all the relevant permissions on their website in due course.
At an Extraordinary Meeting of Balcombe Parish Council on Monday 17 September four candidates were chosen to represent Balcombe villagers on the Angus Energy Community Liaison Group. They are Helen Butcher, Louisa Delpy, Isabel Gordon and Sally Dowsett. Two candidates are held in reserve should one of these four not be able to attend a meeting and they are Derek Earl and Geoff Lester.
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:-
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.
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.
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:-
Balcombe Parish Council’s own notes are available here:-
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 email@example.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.