Media release - issued 10 Sep 2021

Council welcomes Esso's cooperation on trenching work in Queen Elizabeth Park

Rushmoor Borough Council has secured agreement from Esso that it will submit further details for approval of how it plans to carry out trenching work close to the fairy tree and another veteran tree in Queen Elizabeth Park, Farnborough, as part of its pipeline project.

The agreement follows a request from Esso for the council to discharge a number of requirements in the Development Consent Order that the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy granted in October 2020. The Development Consent Order is the permission needed for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

The council has spent significant time formally considering Esso's requests as required by the Development Order to agree a way forward. In doing so, the council has worked with the Friends of Queens Elizabeth Park with a view to minimising the potential impacts of the work in this much-loved local park. 

The most difficult of these requests involved changes to the Site Specific Plan for Queen Elizabeth Park because of a small change in the route of the pipeline. This was necessary after the discovery of concrete blocks linked to a sewage pipe already running through the park, meaning that the trenching has to be carried out closer to a small number of mature trees including the well-known fairy tree. 

Now that Esso has agreed to submit further information on the detailed working methods it will use for this work as part of the revised Site Specific Plan, the council will approve this before the work is started. All the submissions are now agreed. 

Councillor Marina Munro, Cabinet Member for Planning, Economy and Strategic Housing at Rushmoor Borough Council, said: "Queen Elizabeth Park is a wonderful community space, highly valued by the council and our residents and I am pleased that we have been able to secure further commitment from Esso to help protect the park's most valuable trees." 

Initial vegetation clearance is expected to start later this year. There are ongoing surveys, with the main work taking place during 2022. 

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