Horse Hill expansion – time to object

Horse Hill Developments Ltd is currently testing oil flows from its two wells at Horse Hill. Now they want to add four new production wells and a well to dispose of contaminated waste water. The planning application is for 25 years.

They say they could produce more than 500 tonnes of oil a day. If achieved, this would make Horse Hill the UK’s second largest onshore oil producing site and UKOG (the parent company) the third largest onshore oil company in the UK (if you believe their claims).

This would fund further oil exploration across the Weald and the Isle of Wight.

Please object to the plans before the deadline of February 18th (although the County Council will consider objections up to the time of the planning meeting).



You can view the planning application – and object – on the Surrey County Council website.

There are 97 documents in all – but the Planning Statement is the main one to read.

Post your objections online, or email clearly stating the application reference number SCC 2018/0152 and your name and address

You could comment on any of the points below – and add your own thoughts.

Climate change:  Scientists warn that we have just 12 years left to keep temperature rises within the 1.5 degree increase on pre-industrial levels and avoid environmental breakdown. Drilling for new oil will only make climate change worse – while renewable energy is cheap, clean and popular. Allowing new oil production will make it impossible for the UK to meet our commitments under the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which our government signed along with 173 other countries and the European Union.

Acidisation: An unconventional technique called acidisation will be used to break down the rock and allow oil to flow. Large volumes of acid will be pumped into the ground. It takes 56,000+ litres of fresh water to acidise 30 metres of pipe.

Water pollution: most of this acid water is pumped back to the surface. On the way it may gather mildly radioactive materials and heavy metals. It is either treated (involving tanker transport to a treatment facility) or pumped back into the ground.

Air pollution: Flaring of gas and the use of diesel engines will add to local air pollution.

Traffic: The developers estimate there will 32 tanker movements daily for 20 years, causing congestion, pollution and noise on local roads and compromising safety for other road users.

Industrialisation: Lights, noise, traffic and pollution add up to the industrialisation of this quiet rural area. The plans include 24-hour drilling.

Green Belt: The site is Green Belt, where any development is judged inappropriate unless there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ to justify it. Development in the Green Belt is forbidden by the National Planning Policy Framework and Reigate and Banstead Council’s own policies.

Earthquake risk: 15 recent earthquakes in Surrey show the area is far less stable than once thought. Surrey’s ‘quakes coincided with the recent re-start of oil operations at Horse Hill.

No benefits to the community: More traffic, more noise, more light, more pollution, more drilling, more oil-sites, falling house prices.

Read a summary of the proposals on the Drill or Drop website


Other ways to get involved

  • Join the campaign. Email
  • Drop by at the protection camp for information and a chat. It’s on the corner of the A217 and Horse Hill (opposite the Black Horse Pub) RH6 0HN.


Film screenings and discussion on the proposals 

Friday 1 February, 6.30pm, at Hookwood Memorial Hall. Find out more and book your place

Monday 18 February, 6.30pm, at Newdigate Village Hall (just turn up)

6 Responses

  1. […] the oil drillers ramp up their aspirations to turn Horse Hill in Surrey into the second largest oil production site i…, get some inspiration from the fight against fracking in […]

  2. Graham Gladman says:

    Good people will stand together to defeat this malign industrial practice that has no regard to public health and well being

  3. Carolyn Beckingham says:

    Keep fighting ! The one way to make sure they win is to do nothing !

  4. […] Please object to the plans before the deadline of 18 February – details here […]

  5. rebecca stephens says:

    How is it possible to continue to put profit over public health? I received a letter this morning about the new efforts to clean up toxic air in London to prevent cases of early death caused by air pollution, and to create a safe environment for our children, and in the same breath I hear about this company pushing to extract oil and gas just down the road in Surrey. What is going on?

  6. […] Well done everyone who has objected! This delay shows how many concerns people have about the proposal, from local pollution and earthquake risk to climate change. If you haven’t objected yet, it’s not too late! Please object now. […]

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