Silent protest on oil drill traffic plan at Surrey County Council meeting – Wednesday October 18

This is a press release from A Voice for Leith Hill, community group.

Surrey residents who claim their voices aren’t being heard in the process to decide traffic plans for oil drilling on Leith Hill will carry out a silent protest this Wednesday (October 18).

Members of various local action groups will gather on the steps of Surrey County Hall at 10am before the Planning and Regulatory committee meeting which is set to discuss plans for traffic management and a double security fence of two and three metres.

Since the plan was last discussed substantial changes have been made including the number of lorry movements, loads of lorries, speed projections and the introduction of a Tree Preservation Order in Coldharbour Lane by Mole Valley District Council.

But Surrey officers say that because residents were allowed fifteen minutes to speak at the last meeting no one can speak on the topic this time.  Residents are still being allowed to speak on the security fence application, which will industrialise part of the tranquil sunken lane for eighteen weeks.

“We feel we’re being shut out of the democratic process as it nears its end”, said Julian Everett of A Voice for Leith Hill. “Once these permissions are in place Europa Oil and Gas will soon be bringing its massive trucks up the lane. We urge councillors to let us speak and hear our substantial objections. They should turn down this unworkable traffic plan, which will bring misery to local residents and cause damage to this fragile environment”.

Local groups have also complained to Mole Valley District Council about their failure to put the Leith Hill proposals on last week’s development control committee public agenda. Both the traffic plan and the security fence were added to the agenda at 5.30pm with the meeting starting at 7pm, even though paperwork for both had been available for weeks. This meant members of the public were unaware of the discussion and did not attend to hear the debate. MVDC is a consultee on both issues.

Notes to editors:

Photo Opportunity: 10.00am steps of County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN

To arrange an interview in advance please contact Vicki Elcoate:

Leith Hill and Horse Hill applications to be decided this week

On Wednesday, 18 October, Surrey County Council’s Planning & Regulatory Committee will be deciding on drilling and related activities at Horse Hill and Leith Hill.

Come to County Hall on 18 Oct to show your opposition to oil drilling in our area.  Meet at 10.15am by the Ashcombe Suite, County Hall, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 2DN  See the Facebook event here

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Leith Hill: Trees at risk from oil drilling get legal protection

The petition was presented to local councillors in June

Mole Valley District Council’s Development Control Committee unanimously agreed a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) for Coldharbour Lane last night. [1]

Members of the community group, A Voice for Leith Hill, had identified twenty iconic trees in the historic sunken lane which are threatened by oil drilling plans for Leith Hill and campaigned to have them protected.

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CYCLISTS’ LIVES AT RISK – threat from Leith Hill oil drilling plans

On the eve of the Prudential 100 cycle event (July 30th), campaign groups in Surrey are warning of serious risk to cyclists on the same roads in the coming months.

A lorry in Coldharbour Lane

A lorry in Coldharbour Lane

Cyclists on Sunday will ride safely on closed roads. But once permission for an exploratory oil drill on the route is approved, the roads will be shared with HGVs. In the last couple of weeks a cyclist died after an accident nearby – it is feared that emergency vehicles will be slowed down from accessing this area once the oil drilling starts.

Europa Oil & Gas, in consortium with UK Oil & Gas, Union Jack Oil, Angus Energy and others, have conditional planning consent for an exploratory oil well at a site alongside Coldharbour Lane. This is a narrow, winding, tree-canopied sunken lane in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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Surrey oil sites: summer 2017 update

This round-up is compiled by volunteers and information is presented in good faith. We are not experts and you are advised to do your own research and contact the groups campaigning on these sites. If anyone has further news or information about any oil or gas drilling planned or taking place in Surrey, please contact us.

Here are updates from sites at Bletchingly, Brockham, Bury Hill Wood (Leith Hill) and Horse Hill.



Island Gas Limited (IGas) have applied for an environmental permit for oil & gas drilling in Bletchingley. Read the application and have your say


Angus Energy have submitted a planning application for increased site works at Brockham to be valid until 2036. The consultation is open until 31 July. The application is expected to go before the Planning and Regulatory Committee at its meeting in September.

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Before the Flood: Dorking screening 28 June

The Dorking Solar Group, in conjunction with Transition Dorking, present Before the Flood. With a running time of 1 hr 30 mins, the film follows Leonardo DiCaprio around the world as he gives an enlightening account of the dramatic changes occurring due to climate change.

Natural scientist and educator Rich Thompson will be on hand to answer questions  and give some extra insight on some of the topics raised by the film.

Rich has a passion for sustainability, fuelled by his first hand experiences of rainforest devastation for palm oil plantations in Borneo, the global decline of coral reef ecosystems, and a belief that through education, positive change is truly possible.

Date:               Weds 28 June

Venue:            Burgundy & Black, St Martin’s Walk, Dorking

Time:              From 7.30 pm

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Environment Agency consults on radioactive waste at Leith Hill

Europa Oil has applied to the Environment Agency for an environmental permit covering the storing and handling of crude oil and radioactive substances arising from its planned drilling at Leith Hill

You can read the documents – including a non-technical summary – and submit your response to the Environment Agency consultation here:

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Dirty pension funds – what are the alternatives?

Wednesday 10 May, 7.30-9pm Burgundy & Black Coffee Bar, St Martins Walk, Dorking RH4 1UT

A free, open event – all welcome

The global divestment movement is asking investors such as pension funds to stop backing coal, oil and gas and invest in sustainable energy instead.  Come and find out how this is gathering pace and what we can do to help. Read the rest of this entry >>

Keith Taylor MEP launches anti-drilling guide in Surrey

Keith Taylor, the South East region’s only Green MEP, came to Surrey this week to launch his new campaigner’s guide to drilling, acidisation and fracking

The guide includes details of drill sites across the region, including five in Surrey (Albury Park, Brockham, Leith Hill, Horse Hill and Bletchingley). It also includes an introduction to acidisation, and Keith’s concerns about a police crackdown on protest.

Keith also met with campaigners from Horse Hill, Brockham and Leith Hill, and protectors from the camp at Leith Hill to hear about their experiences and show his support for their work.



Acclaimed fracking play comes to Guildford

Following a sold-out run at Chichester Festival Theatre, Fracked! or Please don’t use the F-word is coming to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre as part of a major UK tour.

The comedy by Alistair Beaton takes us to an idyllic English village threatened by an energy company intent on drilling for shale gas.

Anne Reid plays Elizabeth, a retired academic who finds herself transformed from obedient citizen to angry protestor. James Bolam plays her husband. Bolam himself campaigned against a drilling proposal in his home village of Wisborough Green.

Fracked! is at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from 12-20 April. Find out more and buy tickets here: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

For other tour dates: