The Weald Action Group responded to the Environmental Audit Committee’s inquiry examining the Government’s policies for securing energy supplies and accelerating the transition from fossil fuels.
The South East Climate Alliance (SECA) held its first knowledge sharing event on March 25th, with a deep dive into the issues around methane’s role as the second biggest contributor to global warming behind carbon dioxide.
The Weald Action Group has submitted a response to the Environment Agency’s consultation on the application by Horse Hill Developments Ltd to vary the environmental permit for their Horse Hill well site at Horse Hill, near Horley in Surrey.
In summary, we do not agree with the Environment Agency’s draft decision for the following reasons:
– despite telling planning decision-makers the gas would be used to generate electricity
Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) has sought permission to flare up to ten tonnes of gas per day at its controversial Horse Hill oil site in Surrey.
Theoretically this means up to 3,650 tonnes of gas each year – or enough to heat up to 3,500 homes – could be simply burned, with the energy potentially wasted. 
UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) has announced it will not appeal against the refusal of planning permission for exploration near the village of Arreton on the Isle of Wight.
The Isle of Wight Council unanimously refused the application in October 2021. This followed years of dedicated campaigning by Don’t Drill the Wight, a non- party political group of like-minded individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, professions and political affiliations, who are opposed to the development of new onshore exploration and extraction sites for oil and gas.
The South East Climate Alliance invites you to an online meeting about methane.
Guest speakers include SECA members Danny Lee (Petersfield Climate Action Network) and Emily Mott (Weald Action Group) as well as James Turitto (Clean Air Task Force). The session will be facilitated by Jill Sutcliffe.
The Weald Action Group has called the government’s proposed ‘climate compatibility checkpoint’ for future oil and gas licensing in the UK Continental Shelf ‘inherently flawed’ – and says the checkpoint threatens both the government’s ability to meet its own net-zero target and the stability of the global climate.
Horse Hill challenge dismissed – but judgment not unanimous
Court of Appeal judges were divided over a claim that Surrey County Council acted unlawfully when it decided to grant planning permission for new oil wells and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill in Surrey.
One of three judges agreed with campaigner Sarah Finch and intervenor Friends of the Earth that the council should have considered the full climate impacts of the development, including the ‘downstream’ greenhouse gas emissions that will be produced when the oil extracted at Horse Hill is eventually burned.
The Weald Action Group has objected to Angus Energy’s planning application to produce oil at Brockham until 2036.
Angus is applying to retain one of the three wells on the site, BRX4, and reperforate it to allow for appraisal and production of hydrocarbons for a ‘temporary period’ of 15 years. The other two wells have been plugged and abandoned. Read the application documents here: https://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?AppNo=SCC%20Ref%202021/0165
The legal challenge to Surrey County Council’s 2019 decision to allow 20 years of drilling at Horse Hill was heard in the Appeal Court on 16-17 November.
Lawyers on both sides argued their cases, and the judges listened attentively. They will now deliberate, and we do not expect to hear the outcome for several weeks, or possibly longer.
Thank you everyone who was part of this, it has been a huge team effort, and funded by hundreds of people.”