The Weald Action Group, with local groups Frack Free Surrey and Back Off Horse Hill, is proud to launch a new video which shows why local communities are opposing plans to drill for oil at Horse Hill, and elsewhere in southern England.
The international journal Energy Policy has published an article titled Acid stimulation: Fracking by stealth continues despite the moratorium in England, co-authored by Adriana Zalucka of Weald Action Group member Brockham Oil Watch, David Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at the University of Glasgow, and Alice Goodenough of Harrison Grant Solicitors.
A climate campaigner’s fight to prevent the development of oil wells in Surrey – which is supported by the Weald Action Group – will go to the Court of Appeal.
Sarah Finch, of Redhill, Surrey, has been given permission to take her battle against Surrey County Council’s decision to grant Horse Hill Developments Ltd planning permission for the drilling and production of oil at a site in the Surrey Hills to the Court of Appeal.
UK Oil & Gas Plc (UKOG) is appealing against Surrey County Council’s decision from November last year to refuse their application for the exploration and appraisal of fossil fuels at Loxley in Dunsfold.
The appeal is now open for representations to the Planning Inspectorate – even if you’ve already objected to the proposal. The deadline is April 6th.
Dunsfold briefing for objectors – please use your own words and send in your objection before the deadline.
Plans to extend the highly controversial oil site at Balcombe have been turned down in a hugely significant decision by West Sussex Councillors.
Angus Energy had applied for a one year extension to carry out flow testing. But time and again Councillors mentioned the climate crisis, the need to move away from fossil fuels, and the existence of alternative sources of energy such as the Rampion wind farm.
Cllr Andrew Baldwin summed it up: “As a country and as a world we need to get away from fossil fuels”.
Local residents spoke about the other impacts of going ahead with the development – including HGV movements past Balcome Primary School, threats to air quality, flaring and a lack of information from the applicants. Cllr Louise Goldsmith said it was “highly contentious and an important decision for the public and residents in the local area”.
The site will now have to be restored. The Planning Officer said it might go back to forestry but the details of the restoration scheme have to be agreed and Councillors were concerned about how to remediate the work already carried out.
Balcombe has a long and troubled history, with fracking being earlier proposed at the site. It has been the subject of fierce opposition and protests including the arrest of Brighton MP Caroline Lucas. Read our Balcombe site page.
Government policy needs to change urgently to enable decisions on fossil fuel applications to be properly assessed in light of the climate crisis. A campaigner from the Weald Action Group, who are on the frontline of a flurry of applications to expand onshore oil and gas in the South of England, has written today (22 February 2021) to the Planning Minister, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP.
A recent Judicial Review brought by Surrey resident Sarah Finch failed because local councils do not appear to have the right tools to assess and then refuse planning applications which, by taking fossil fuels out of the ground, inevitably release millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when they are burned. Continue reading “Campaigner urges Minister to plug the carbon gap in planning law and policy”
The five Weald Action Group campaigners who planned to continue their challenge to get a draconian injunction quashed in the High Court at a hearing starting next week are celebrating as the UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) group of companies concede that they have to radically scale back the Injunction and agree a much reduced draft Order which they have now made public.
The interim injunction by UK Oil and Gas against Persons Unknown and named people is the subject of a court hearing in early February 2021. Five defendants, under the Weald Action Group umbrella, are asking that the injunction be struck out.
We’re now asking for your support by attending the hearing remotely and by donating if you can . Continue reading “Injunction – February 2021 hearing”
Press release from A Voice for Leith Hill
The licence to drill for oil and gas in the area covering Leith Hill in Surrey will still be offered to exploration companies, even though successive companies have failed to drill there.
Leith Hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, was the site of controversial plans to drill for oil by successive companies over a 12 year period. Europa Oil and Gas pulled out of the site in 2018 after a lengthy legal battle to get planning permission to drill at the site.
Plans to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight are open for another round of consultations with a deadline of February 12th. Please read the material and get in your objection before the deadline.
The consultation covers traffic and site issues, plus ecology, health and water issues. Don’t Drill the Wight has detailed briefings you can use and then personalise your objection.
A judge has found that Surrey County Council was not required to consider greenhouse gas emissions arising from the combustion of the oil to be produced at a site at Horse Hill, Surrey, when considering a planning application for massive expansion of oil drilling at the site over the next 25 years.
In a written ruling issued today, the Hon Mr Justice Holgate dismissed a legal challenge brought by Redhill resident Sarah Finch, who was supported by the Weald Action Group.