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.
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.
Campaigners from the Weald Action Group reacted with disappointment as a High Court Judge refused a request for a Judicial Review of a controversial planning decision.
Sarah Finch, a campaigner from Redhill, was seeking permission 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.
The Traffic and Transport Management Plan commissioned by Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) in support of its planning permission for 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill poses a real risk to other road users and if approved, threatens disturbance for local residents – for 20 years.
Under the plan – which is currently out for consultation – there would be no restriction on HGV permitted hours while oil production was going on – that’s 20 years of the planning permission.