Woodland oil drilling inquiry in Surrey begins

Coldharbour Lane
Image caption Europa Oil and Gas says there is a national need for the development of oil

Plans to drill for oil in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Surrey are being considered at a public inquiry.

Europa Oil and Gas applied to drill in Bury Hill Wood, off Coldharbour Lane at Holmwood, near Dorking.

Surrey County Council's planning committee rejected the application in May 2011.

The company has appealed against the decision claiming there is a national need for the development of oil.

The inquiry, which is expected to last eight days, is being held in Dorking Halls.

The original application, which had been recommended for approval by the council's planning officer, was refused on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on the area.

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