Demographic changes and exploratory works aimed assessing the potential for oil and shale gas extraction are driving an expansion of Surrey County Council’s planning department.
The council is currently recruiting for a planning validation officer, a planning technician and a planning regulation monitoring officer.
According to the council, the expansion is needed due to an “unprecedented” demand for school places and subsequently new schools, with the authority estimating that an additional 16,000 places will be needed over the next five years.
It added that “an increase in mineral exploration” and the need for improved waste facilities were also informing the planning department’s growth.
The expansion follows the possible discovery last month of oil-bearing shale rocks in the Weald area of southern England, spanning parts of Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey, which speculators believe could be as rich in oil as the North Sea fields.
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