Horse Hill: Court of Appeal to hear challenge over controversial oil drilling permission

The Court of Appeal will hear a legal challenge on Tuesday 16 November 2021 to Surrey County Council’s controversial decision to grant planning permission for 20 years oil production at Horse Hill, in greenbelt countryside in Surrey.  

The challenge has been brought by Sarah Finch, on behalf of the Weald Action Group, and is due to last a day and a half.

Friends of the Earth has been given permission to intervene in the case and will support Sarah’s case. The UK government has also been given permission to take part in the case as an interested party and is defending the decision by Surrey County Council.

The legal challenge centres around Surrey County Council’s decision not to take into account the full climate impact of the oil development in the context of the current climate emergency.

The Court of Appeal will be asked to consider whether the environmental impact assessment used as part of the decision-making process should have considered all the climate impacts of the development – including greenhouse gas emissions arising when the oil produced at the site is used. That is where the majority of emissions will arise.

Come and show support

We will gather to show our support for Sarah and her legal team from 9am on Tuesday 16 November. Please join us outside the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand, London WC2A 2LL. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 regulations, there are limits on the numbers allowed inside court, and all places are allocated. But we can still show support outside the Court.

2 Replies to “Horse Hill: Court of Appeal to hear challenge over controversial oil drilling permission”

  1. Good luck at the appeal next Tuesday. Yesterday this bulletin by Greenpeace relating to COP26 grabbed my attention ……
    At the halfway point of the talks, countries have announced a string of voluntary agreements containing vague language and big loopholes. To make matters worse the first draft of the Glasgow decision text has been issued- which lays out the next steps for nations to tackle the climate crisis and is what countries will sign when COP26 ends. Staggeringly, phasing out fossil fuels isn’t even mentioned! At this crucial moment we need a firm commitment to end one of the most destructive foundations of the climate crisis.

    Looks like our UK government have chosen extinction rather than survival!

  2. All best wishes for today’s hearing. There should be no more coal mines or oil or gas wells from NOW.

    There are plenty of existing, open mines and wells to manage the transition to a planet and economy that can supports our future. The UK needs to take a strong stand against fossil fuels, and that means including scope 3 GHG emissions in the consideration of harms.
    It is absurd to pretend that the operational emissions are the only, or main, source of climate harms, or that an oil well can have a Net Zero carbon effect.

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