We pay tribute to Max Rosenberg, whose funeral was held today at the Clandon Wood natural burial site in Surrey. This is a message from the Weald Action Group, A Voice for Leith Hill, Brockham Oil Watch and the Horse Hill campaign.
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.
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.
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.
The interim injunction by UK Oil and Gas against Persons Unknown and named people is the subject of a court hearing in early February 2021. Five defendants, under the Weald Action Group umbrella, are asking that the injunction be struck out.
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.