Green light for legal challenge to Surrey County Council’s support for 20 years’ oil production at Horse Hill

 

Campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice for a hearing on this case in February 2020

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.

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UKOG’s application to drill at Dunsfold refused

Lane to Dunsfold
The drill site is beautiful countryside, accessed by narrow lanes

Update 3 August 2020:  The decision to refuse planning permission for oil and gas exploration at Dunsfold has now been ruled invalid following technical problems during the committee meeting, which was conducted online. There will now be further training for councillors and the decision will be taken again. 

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Oil company injunction watered down further as campaigners celebrate – press release

Faith at the Gate, Horse Hill
Faith at the Gate gathering outside the gates of the Horse Hill site in Surrey before the lockdown

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.

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Angus Energy pulls Balcombe three-year well test plan – but will submit further application

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.

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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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