Dunsfold Planning Inquiry – please object

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.

Balcombe – extension plans unanimously refused

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.

Campaigner urges Minister to plug the carbon gap in planning law and policy

Surrey Campaigner Sarah Finch

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”

Isle of Wight oil plans – new consultation

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.

Continue reading “Isle of Wight oil plans – new consultation”

Dunsfold application refused for second time

Surrey Councillors have refused – for a second time – an application by UK Oil and Gas to drill at Dunsfold, near Godalming. The councillors recognised the huge impact the application for an exploratory drill would have had on the local community, local businesses, traffic, the environment and nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. They also discussed the unsupported claims of UKOG that their operations would make a significant contribution to the UK’s energy security.

Continue reading “Dunsfold application refused for second time”

Local residents and campaigners will tell the High Court the damaging impact of an oil company’s attempt to stifle peaceful protest

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.

Continue reading “Local residents and campaigners will tell the High Court the damaging impact of an oil company’s attempt to stifle peaceful protest”

Oil and Gas applications up for decisions

A flurry of oil applications are in the process of being decided around Surrey and Sussex, including the controversial new site at Dunsfold. This is how you can get involved in opposing them:

Broadford Bridge: UKOG want a third extension to their permission at this site in West Sussex despite their promises to be off the site by now. Join campaigners outside the County Council meeting on March 24th which will decide it:  gather at 0945 at County Hall, West St, Chichester PO19 1RG. Bring banners. We hope to see you there.

Balcombe: Angus Energy’s application for a three-year well test at Balcombe may also come up at the same meeting. Watch this space.

Brockham: Angus Energy is applying for an Environment Agency permit to reinject waste water, after saying it was pulling out of the site and also after the EA said it wasn’t competent to carry out reinjection.  It’s also planning the same at its Lidsey site in Sussex.

Dunsfold aka Loxley: the planning decision about whether to open up this new greenfield site targeted by UKOG has been repeatedly delayed.  The next Surrey planning meeting is scheduled for March 25th. UKOG has recently withdrawn a second application for the site.

Isle of Wight: UKOG has published its EIA screening report for the Arreton sight and Frack Free Isle of Wight is holding a series of public information meetings about the plans.