“The UK government has proposed new rules regarding rights to access land in a bid to speed up the introduction of fracking.
It proposes that shale oil and gas companies are granted access to land below 300m from the surface.
It also suggests firms pay £20,000 per well to those living above the land.
The consultation comes as a new report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) estimates there are 4.4bn barrels of oil in shale rocks in southern England.
The BGS estimates there are between 2.2 billion and 8.6 billion barrels of shale oil in the Weald Basin – that covers areas including Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Kent – but says there is “no significant gas resource”.
These figures represent the total amount of oil in the rocks, only some of which can be accessed.
“It is not known what percentage of the oil present in the shale could be commercially extracted.” the survey said.”
BBC 23rd May” 2014.

The District Council has previously received a well rounded briefing on Fracking  to make Councillors aware of the issues and has issued a press release today”

“EHDC responds to British Geological Survey shale gas and oil study

The British Geological Survey have now completed their study of the shale gas and oil resources of the Weald basin. They concluded that while there is unlikely to be any significant quantity of gas in the Weald shales, there could be a significant quantity of shale oil, in the range of 2 to 8 billion barrels.

East Hampshire District Council recognises that fracking for oil is a complex and emotive subject on many levels. While EHDC has no direct authority in the granting of oil and gas licences, they are a statutory consultee in the planning process.

If there is to be any further exploration for oil in the region, EHDC will seek to safeguard the interests of local residents and businesses. They will also look to maximise the community benefits offered by the shale companies.

EHDC’s spokesperson for Energy and Environment, Councillor Melissa Maynard, has looked at the shale gas industry as it is managed in the UK and has reached the following preliminary conclusions:

“While in principle we would prefer to see investment in low-carbon energy, we have nonetheless made it our business to understand the process of fracking itself and the regulatory controls in place to supervise this industry.

“I am satisfied that the risk and level of seismic activity triggered by the hydraulic fracturing process is very low and that robust monitoring is in place to identify and control that risk.

“I am also satisfied that well integrity is a high priority with regulations and engineering standards far higher and more robust than in other countries where issues have arisen.

“I believe that monitoring and regulatory frameworks are robust and that sufficient safeguards are in place to allow for exploratory wells to be drilled and for production to take place in the longer term if viable resources are found and environmental impacts are controlled.

“We will of course continue to improve our knowledge and understanding, and look carefully at specific proposals individually, as they arise.”

For my part I welcomed the briefings by Professor David Sanderson (University of Southamption) and Lisa Kirby (Hampshire County Council). The main issues identified were: Surface disruption; Earthquakes; Water usage; Groundwater contamination; Leaking wells and CO2 production.  It is probable that water usage is the most important issue in the UK.

It was very reassuring to hear that the Regulatory Agencies in the UK have a tradition of employing the highest standards.



JCS Published


East Hampshire District Council adopted the East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy Development Plan Document on 8 May 2014.

The JCS includes the Main Modifications recommended by the Inspector who carried out the independent examination of the Plan; together with the Council’s Minor Modifications which were considered by the Inspector and subject to public consultation in the document “Further Proposed Modifications August 2013”.

The JCS covers the administrative area of East Hampshire District Council including the area of the South Downs National Park Authority that lies within the District. It sets out the spatial vision, objectives, development strategy and policies to enable the delivery of sustainable development and communities in East Hampshire District for the period 2011-2028. All documents can be viewed on the Council’s website at t+Core+Strategy


Literary Walks

EdThoswebsiteEast Hampshire is home to some of Britain’s literary greats. You can follow in the footsteps of these writers. The walks have recently been revised, the route instructions and maps checked and the guide leaflets brought fully up-to-date. The new versions are available from many outlets including the Tourist Information Centre in The Library.

Jane Austen 1775-1817:  A walk from Chawton to Farringdon

The Rev. Gilbert White 1720-1793: A walk around Selborne

William Cobbett 1763-1835: A walk around Hawkley

Edward Thomas1878-1917: A walk around Steep and Ashford Hangers

Flora Thompson 1876-1947: A walk around Weavers Down and Holly Hills, Liphook. 

It is worth taking an Ordnance Survey map with you in case a detour is necessary.


Grass Cutting

GroundsMaintenanceRecently I received a request from a concerned resident regarding grass cutting in Petersfield and it occurred to me that this extract from the EHDC website would be helpful to others:

“The council cuts grass verges on roads in the 30mph and 40mph speed limit areas in the district except in the Bramshott and Liphook area, where this is undertaken by the parish council. It is also responsible for grounds maintenance in the open spaces which it owns, including car parks, play areas and alongside some footpaths. It maintains trees, shrub beds and hedges as well as cutting the grass.
The council’s grass cutting programme allows for nine cuts between March and October, with more frequent cuts during the main growing season. Hedges are cut annually in the autumn and shrub beds are tended throughout the year. Trees are maintained on five year rolling programme.
We have a policy NOT to prohibit the playing of games on public open spaces and do not erect “no ball games” signs. Users of EHDC open spaces should be considerate of nearby residents. Any issues about the use of the open spaces should be addressed to EHDC’s Streetcare & Operations Manager on 01730 234283.
The council shares responsibility for grounds maintenance in the district with a number of other organisations such as housing associations, Hampshire County Council and town and parish councils. If you have a query and are unsure whether the responsibility lies with the council then contact our customer service team, with full details of location, and we will try to help.
Telephone: 0300 300 0013  “.


Bus Service 67

Now includes a Sunday service, the tender for which has been won by Xelabus.

67 timetable XelabusThe Sunday service is funded from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, following a successful bid by the South Downs National Park Authority in conjunction with local authorities including Hampshire County Council. This will run every Sunday from 18 May to 26 October 2014 inclusive, but that there will be no service on either of the two Bank Holiday Mondays.