On 22nd March the LRA committee met with members of the Esso Pipeline team for an update on progress and yesterday they announced the final route of the pipeline through Laleham and beyond. The route has not really changed since the last consultation and details are available on the interactive map, see link below


We have failed to stop the “football pitch sized” supply hub on the Brett site at Littleton Lane. This is regrettable given other complications at this location. However Esso have at least promised tight management and final restoration(!) and that the activities proposed will not cause a continuous flow of HGV’s through the village.

The pipeline still travels the length of the Ashford Road on the southern verge, in spite of valiant protests from Ashford Road residents. There is no viable alternative to this route and tight management of this section is our best recourse. The possible loss of trees along the Ashford Road is a concern and, although Esso promise to avoid this by swerving the pipeline out onto the carriageway if necessary, may I say this is one comment which I am not entirely convinced about. If we could count on support from Surrey Highways to keep us informed and enforce tree preservation it would be a fine thing. The LRA will make contact with them of course but hey, ho. Local issues compared to big business? You know the script...

One bit of good news is that the small depot on Ashford Road at Brett’s Manor Farm entrance has been cancelled. The LRA and many local residents complained about this in the last consultation submission and Esso have taken your comment on board.

The Esso application will now be submitted to central government for DCO permission and it is anticipated that work will be permitted to start around Jan 2021. At this point, timing for the various stages of construction will be calculated, although some flexibility may be necessary. The entire pipeline should be finished within 2 years of that date. The Laleham section is anticipated to take 6 months and this make be all at once or in a couple of sections.

However this build is achieved, there will be times of traffic and noise and ugliness – but it is, at least, finite. Going forward, Esso seem keen to contribute to our community and we will certainly hold them to that.

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