Leith Hill to be Drilled for Oil !! – Deadline for Objections 9th August 2009
As someone who does live there (well Abinger Common, and orginally Friday Street) I would just like to point out that the protesters have done themselves no credit by pretending that this is on the top of Leith Hill. It is barely on Leith Hill at all – the site is separated from Leith Hill proper by quite a broad valley. It is actually on the opposite side of the road to the proper (old) Redlands, if anyone knows that.
I've even read a comment from a mountain biker suggesting the light pollution from the flare and installation lights would spoil their night ride! What a joke – for a start I seriously doubt they have ridden in that wood (I actually have, prob about twice ever) and secondly the biggest polluters of woodland night light are the HID brigade.Posted 8 years agoFutureboyMember
I've even read a comment from a mountain biker suggesting the light pollution from the flare and installation lights would spoil their night ride! What a joke
Yup…the ill informed! They will only flare when well testing (i.e. at the very last stage of the drilling process), so a very short time indeed. And as someone who works on the rigs, the derrick lights are hardly bright enough to cause major problems. It's not gonna be like close encounters of the third kind!!! 😉Posted 8 years agoybotMember
glenp – Don't know where you read the comment about the flare spoiling night riding, that really seems to be rather a silly argument. Also I don't see where the protesters are claiming that the site is on top of Leith Hill. Perhaps the well should be put in Abinger Common somewhere ! as you point out it has no implications for the local community, Abinger Common is actually on Leith Hill and is more accessable from the A25 so has better transport links – sounds like a fairly ideal spot.
As for the proposed site, I can confirm it is used by mountain bikers regularly, on average I will be in that area at least once a week, there are several roll ins in that wood and A jump/play area used a lot by Nirvana, this in know way means its the wrong site, that is for other reasons, it does however mean that perhaps you should take the bike there a little more often.
Lastly, Abinger Common and Friday street are on the other side of the hill and this proposed site would have no effect on either of those places either visually or with increased traffic. My main objection is that the roads are simply not suitable for any kind of high level of large vehicles (yes I wish fewer of the locals had large 4×4's which are unecessary)and that it will have a negative impact on a AONB which is allready under hugh pressure from all kinds of other things.
As said before,(geology allowing and I'm sure in this day and age that wouldn't be a problem after all it would be drilling from the same sandstone rock strata)I just don't understand why a site off the A24 can't be used giving much better access, possibly outside the AONB and at a lower alltitude. Its not the fact that oil is being extracted that the protesters don't agree with, its just the proposed site.Posted 8 years agoglenpMember
Fair enough if more people use that wood these days – I haven't been there in years. Most people go the Leith Hill itself, and a few are going back to proper Redlands on the other side of the road, I know. I tend to ride on this side of Leith, plus Hurtwood, so fair enough.
The implication that the site is on Leith Hill is everywhere, and I think when people see where it actually is they will think there is a big difference. I wouldn't want it actually IN Abinger Common, but there again it isn't actually IN Coldharbour either! If it was as far from my village (and other houses) as it is from the village of Coldharbour then I honestly don't think I would object. There isn't really a comparable wood on this side of the hill, so that's a bit abstract.
I agree that a site closer to A24 (or more likely A29) would be much better though – the oil itself is apparently under the landslip, so Ockley side would make more sense.
Maybe I was being a bit argumentative, but whenever this has been mentioned to me in conversation virtually everyone thinks it is on Leith Hill.Posted 8 years agoWebNimbyNotMember
Just come across your forum – which was was top referrer to the campaign website http://www.thevirtualvillage.com in August. I am webmaster for that site, so thanks! My personal comments about this thread are:
I'd call the proposed drill site "on Leith Hill" myself (I live in centre of Coldharbour). A map of the proposed drill site has been on the campaign site since day one and it's never been claimed as being "at the top of Leith Hill" because it isn't.
The campaign is silent about whether exploring for hydrocarbons (per se) is good or bad – for the simple reason that this is irrelevant to the planning authority (SCC). Only objections "on planning grounds" count. That's the law.
I don't think that the majority of (resident) objectors rate disruption to their personal use of Coldharbour Lane (the proposed access route for HGVs) as highly as the (probable?) permanent damage to it. Most mountain bikers will have cycled up Coldharbour Lane; I'm personally concerned about damage that the HGVs will cause to the banks and trees. See photo on campaign website.
My personal objection letter to SCC asked them to also consider the danger to the many mountain bikers who use Coldharbour Lane to get to their favourite rides (on "Leith Hill proper" if you wish). The applicant has proposed a traffic control system (shutting the lane as each HGV – thousands over the XX weeks of the exploration – goes up or down). The traffic survey that they did counted cars etc but not cyclists. For clarity, the lane would not be used by HGVs Saturday pm or all day Sunday.
There are other locations from which exploration could take place. The oil industry uses "directional drilling" (i.e. they don't have to drill straight down). My personal opinion is that the applicant chose the proposed drill site because it is the cheapest location to explore from.
Good thread though! Keep posting!Posted 8 years ago
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