Russell-Cooke’s planning team has advised Perenco on its 39 planning applications which have now been granted to extend the operational life of the largest onshore oilfield in Western Europe at Wytch Farm in Dorset until 2037.

Approval is subject to a number of conditions, including the prevention of fracking for shale gas and deals with issues including noise, air quality and vibrations. The team negotiated the s106 agreement which involved obligations totalling over £1.7 million and secured decommissioning and restoration of the well-sites at the end of field life. The team also advised on environmental impact assessment matters, habitats regulations, conditions and wider planning strategy.

These applications were steered through the planning system such that the county council gave a unanimous resolution to grant and then permission was again granted at the local level without the need for recourse to appeal giving the client certainty.

Head of the planning team, Alex Ground, has advised Perenco since 2011 when it first acquired the oilfield from BP.

Russell-Cooke’s real estate team, led by head of real estate Helen Edwards, has also acted on acquiring various land interests at Wytch Farm required for operational and/or land management purposes.

Jonathan Day, Assistant General Counsel of Perenco Holdings said “The Russell-Cooke team, led by Alex Ground, provided clear and pragmatic advice and were responsive to the challenges involved in achieving the grant of the planning permissions in an area of acute environmental sensitivity and importance. It was a pleasure working with them.”