ESSO have an existing aviation fuel pipeline built between 1969 and 1972 which is coming to the end of its economic life. Esso would like to replace 90km (56 miles) of the existing 105km (65 miles) pipeline. The current pipeline runs from Fawley Refinery near Southampton to Hounslow. The current pipeline is estimated to keep around 100 road tankers off the road every day.
Esso Petroleum Company, Limited (Esso) as the owner of the current pipeline will make a Development Consent Order application to construct and own the new pipeline.
To do this, ESSO are following the National Infrastructure Planning process. This is a national process run by the planning inspectorate and not by Woking Borough Council, and any decision is made by a Secretary of State.
The Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) process was introduced to streamline the decision-making process for major infrastructure projects, making it fairer and faster for communities and applicants alike.
Detailed information for the consultation is available at www.slpproject.co.uk.
This includes: –
- Summary Videos
- Map of proposed Corridors
- *Consultation Brochure
- *Consultation Map Book
- *Consultation Leaflet
- Commitment to Community Consultation
- Online response form
*This material is available to view at local community locations such as Woking, West Byfleet, New Haw & Byfleet libraries.
The consultation period started on 19th March 2018 and closes at 23:45 on 30th April 2018. The preferred feedback is online at www.slpproject.co.uk, but you can also respond by email, preferably using the word document version to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post, preferably using the response form found at the back of the consultation brochure, to FREEPOST SLP PROJECT.
In setting out how the corridors were created ESSO says, “The environmental and socio-economic considerations mentioned here include the potential for temporary disruption to local communities, the location of community areas and buildings (including schools and hospitals), consideration of valued natural features such as Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation, Ramsar-designated wetlands (wetlands of international importance), Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Groundwater Source Protection Zones and Scheduled Monuments.”
The consultation is consulting on six possible corridors^^. These were selected from 17 on a longlist. The other 11 corridors were rejected for various reasons.
In our area (North of Alton), seven corridors where considered: L, M, N, O, P, Q, and R. Some of the reasons listed for rejecting them were: –
- to avoid the floodplain and mineral extraction areas to the east and southeast of Old Woking and Pyrford
- much more complex and time consuming to install and result in greater disruption and impact on communities
- reduce the length of the pipeline installed in roads
- considerable complexity of installing the pipeline in the floodplain was an issue
Consultation is taking place on three corridor options north of Alton.
Two of the options corridors, M & Q, pass through parts of our three villages: Byfleet, West Byfleet & Pyrford. The other corridor, J, which closely follows the existing pipeline, passes north of Woking and Addlestone and so does not impact our three villages.
Corridor J is preferred by ESSO as it is technically easier to deliver due to the “benefit from existing equipment (infrastructure) and easement++ relationships with landowners”.
In our three villages, corridors M & Q come from the sewage works in Old Woking, approach Pyrford along the River Wey floodplain stretching across the whole of south Woking to St Nicholas Church and climb the Pyrford escarpment before proceeding down Sandy Lane across the field behind Aviary Road, then following the track of Boltons Lane down to Pyrford Road opposite the golf club. They then proceed along Pyrford Road, turn right into Dodd’s Lane, through the back of West Hall, under the Basingstoke Canal and the M25 into Byfleet, and then North alongside the M25 towards Byfleet & New Haw Station and into Weybridge. The route** could possibly go through Byfleet Recreation Ground & Byfleet Cricket Ground, though, as in parts of Pyrford, in Byfleet the corridors are very wide, so the exact route is unsure. Further details of the corridors can be found at www.slpproject.co.uk/corridor-options/ or on maps 22 & 23.
The consultation brochure says that “it will not pass under any existing homes”, but to provide both temporary construction compounds and permanent infrastructure there might have to be Compulsory Purchase Orders.
Whilst local authorities such as Surrey County Council, Woking Borough Council and parish Councils were consulted before the public consultation, it seems Neighbourhood Forums were not.
The new pipeline will be 12 inches in diameter and buried at least 1m below ground
Timescales are predicted to be
- Corridor consultation 19th March to 30 April
- Summer 2018 develop preferred route
- Autumn 2018 Consultation on preferred route
- 2019 Application for Development Order
- 2021 project starts build