Sarah Finch, a campaigner from Redhill, has been granted permission by the Appeal Court for a Judicial Review of Surrey County Council’s decision to allow the drilling of four new oil wells and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill, near Gatwick in Surrey.
Sarah Finch and many others had objected to the proposed development by UK Oil and Gas for a range of reasons, including climate change. When Surrey County Council approved the plans in September 2019, Sarah issued a legal challenge, with support from the Weald Action Group. She claimed that the Council had failed to consider the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of the project, and the government’s Net Zero target for carbon emissions.
Campaigners are celebrating a significant weakening of an injunction, which set out to target peaceful protest at unconventional oil sites in Surrey and Sussex.
The High Court has agreed a variation of the Order by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) against ‘Persons Unknown’, removing clauses relating to their supply chain, combining together to protest and ‘gathering and loitering’ at the sites.
The government has no plans to extend the current temporary moratorium on hydraulic fracturing to include other forms of well stimulation, according to a letter from Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng.
Residents of Balcombe in West Sussex have welcomed the withdrawal of oil company Angus Energy’s planning application for a three-year well test on the edge of the village.
However, they warn that the fight goes on, as a company statement to shareholders announcing the withdrawal on 1 May also said that Angus intends to submit an updated application for a shorter test within six weeks.
A day long wrangle over court procedures failed to resolve any of the main issues in the UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) injunction case, which is being opposed by five fossil fuel campaigners from Surrey and Sussex.
It also failed to involve any of the so-called possible defendants which the oil company claim to number 116, despite two having come forward to remove their names from it.
Local residents and campaign groups across the South East have written to the High Court in a bid to get a draconian injunction quashed.
The interim injunction by the UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) group of companies has dragged on for two years without a trial of the evidence. It bans protest at two of its sites: Horse Hill in Surrey and Broadford Bridge in West Sussex.
Lawyers for five peaceful protesters supported by the Weald Action Group have applied to the High Court to bring an end to an interim injunction against protest at oil sites in Surrey and Sussex in line with a new Court of Appeal ruling.
A recent judgment, made on a case brought by fur company Canada Goose, says it’s unlawful to allow interim injunctions against “persons unknown” to drag on and vindicated the protesters’ argument that companies such as UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) should stop misusing Court procedures to get wide orders against lawful protesters through the unfair device of persons unknown.