The purpose of this report is to seek approval for a supplementary estimate to cover the fees of an external consultant to represent the Council and local residents as a Rule 6 party in an appeal by UKOG against Surrey County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the drilling for hydrocarbon minerals and associated infrastructure in Dunsfold. This report sets out that the Council does not have sufficient budget to meet these fees.
It is recommended that the Executive approve a supplementary estimate for £30,000 to meet the fees of the external consultants, to be met from the revenue reserve fund.
RESOLVED to approve a supplementary estimate for £30,000 to meet the fees of the external consultants, to be met from the revenue reserve fund.
Reason: Whilst the Planning Service budget includes sums for contractors, it does not have sufficient funds to meet the abovementioned fees as well as support Development Management in respect of its business as usual duties. It is therefore necessary to seek a supplementary estimate to pay the above amount.
[ENVIRONMENT OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE]
90.1 Cllr Palmer introduced the request for a supplementary estimate, to fund the council’s Rule 6 representation at the planning appeal lodged by UKOG (234) Ltd.
90.2 Cllr John Gray thanked the Executive for their continued support for local residents, businesses, and the parish councils in opposing plans by UKOG to carry out exploratory drilling activity in the Dunsfold area. Being a Rule 6 party at the appeal would allow the council to strengthen its support to Surrey County Council in defending the refusal of the planning application, and achieve a positive outcome.
90.3 Executive Members emphasised the importance of Waverley continuing its community leadership role on this issue, which had commenced with the Listening Panel held in the summer of 2019 and sustained through two Surrey County Council planning committee meetings.
90.4 The Executive RESOLVED to approve a supplementary estimate for £30,000 to meet the fees of the external consultants, to be met from the revenue reserve fund.