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The Secretary of State has today dismissed the appeal made by Europa Oil and Gas Limited against the decision of Surrey County Council to refuse planning permission for the construction of an exploratory hydrocarbon wellsite including plant, buildings and equipment in the Surrey Hills AONB near Coldharbour, Dorking.  The Secretary of State concluded that notwithstanding that it would be temporary in nature, the development would be inappropriate development in the Green Belt and that it would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the AONB.  The Secretary of State noted the policy support set out in the NPPF for mineral exploration but concluded that the benefits of the scheme did not amount to the very special circumstances necessary to justify the grant of planning permission.

Robert Walton acted for Surrey County Council.

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