Oil company lawyers seek to remove legally represented defendants from injunction case

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.

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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.

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Ban on peaceful protest at oil sites in Surrey and Sussex: Application to end Draconian Injunction

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.

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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.

 

Wastewater injection at Singleton threatens to pollute groundwater and trigger earthquakes

The Weald Action Group has objected to IGas’s application for a new Environmental Permit for its Singleton site in West Sussex.

The new permit would allow it to reinject up to 17,000m3 of water a year, with a monthly limit of 2,500m3. The water is produced from oil and gas sites in the Weald, and would contain naturally-occurring radioactive material, known as NORM. Continue reading “Wastewater injection at Singleton threatens to pollute groundwater and trigger earthquakes”

Horse Hill: permission for judicial refused but campaigners fight on

Campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice, 13 February 2020

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.

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HHDL’s Traffic and Transport Management Plan for Horse Hill is unworkable

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.

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Horse Hill: Environmental permit should be refused

The Weald Action Group has objected to the application by Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) to vary its permit for the Horse Hill oil production site in Surrey.

HHDL recently obtained planning permission allowing them to drill and test four new oil wells, drill a water reinjection well, and produce and store oil at the site (a decision that a local resident is seeking leave to challenge in a Judicial Review, with our support). But the operations must also be approved by the Environment Agency.

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