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Two court hearings, Shale Trail 2, and other news

June 2023 update from Surrey’s fossil fuel sites


Dunsfold challenge goes to the High Court on 8 June

Protect Dunsfold, supported by the Good Law Project and Waverley Borough Council, are back in the Royal Courts of Justice, London on 8 June to challenge Michael Gove’s decision to overrule Surrey County Council, who twice refused UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) plans to drill for gas at their site in Loxley, near Dunsfold.

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August 2022 update from Surrey’s fossil fuel sites

Horse Hill: heading to the Supreme Court

Campaigners from the Weald Action Group and Friends of the Earth at the court, 17 February 2022

The legal challenge over Horse Hill is going to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the UK.

The Law Lords will hear the case brought by campaigner Sarah Finch, who is fighting the planning permission for new oil wells and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill.

Sarah Finch’s judicial review claim was rejected by the High Court in 2020 and judges in the Court of Appeal were divided over the claim, with one judge supporting Sarah’s appeal and two others disagreeing.

The Supreme Court will now make a landmark ruling about whether councils must factor in the long term climate impact when considering applications for fossil fuel production sites.

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Please object to the environmental permit for Horse Hill

The application to the Environment Agency from Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL – in which UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) has a controlling interest) to vary their existing permit to operate, has led to yet another consultation.

Originally submitted in October 2019, the details of what HHDL is asking for has changed substantially, and the Environment Agency is minded to approve this permit depending on the responses they receive.

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Horse Hill legal challenge: Appeal Court judges divided

Campaigners from the Weald Action Group and Friends of the Earth at the court, 17 February 2022

The Appeal Court ruled today that Surrey County Council did not act unlawfully when they gave planning permission for 20 years oil production at Horse Hill.

It was not a unanimous judgment: one of three judges agreed with campaigner Sarah Finch and intervenor Friends of the Earth that the Council should have considered the full climate impacts of the development, including the ‘downstream’ greenhouse gas emissions that will be produced when the oil extracted at Horse Hill is eventually burned.

However the other two judges disagreed and the appeal was dismissed.

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Online auction raises funds for Horse Hill Appeal

An online auction goes live this weekend to raise the final funds needed for the Horse Hill legal challenge.

Lots on offer include two nights’ accommodation in a stunning self-contained annexe in Lyme Regis, prints by Tate Modern artists Ackroyd and Harvey, an organic indigo dyeing workshop with local artist Claire Benn, and a signed copy of Judi Dench’s autobiography.

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Rally at Horse Hill, Saturday 6 November

Surrey campaigners will hold a rally near the Horse Hill drill site on 6 November as part of a Global Day of Action on climate justice.

A collaboration of climate campaign groups, Horse Hill Protection Group and friends, invites you to join this peaceful protest to say ‘Keep It In The Ground: No New Fossil Fuel Investments Or Infrastructure’!

Meet at the junction of Horse Hill with the A217 (opposite the Black Horse pub) at 12.30pm to hear a few short speeches, then walk up to the drill site at 1.30pm. See this page for travel details.

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IGas plans produce grey hydrogen at Albury & Bletchingley

IGas have applied to Surrey County Council for planning permission to produce high carbon, ‘grey’ hydrogen at their sites in Albury and Bletchingley.

Their applications are highly misleading as they concentrate on the low emissions from hydrogen at the point of use and completely downplay the enormous amount of emissions that will result from the production of hydrogen at this site, if their permit is granted.

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Cyclists set off on 1,000 trip to highlight campaign to halt oil drilling in Surrey

Simon and Sam set off from Kingston’s Memorial Gardens, accompanied by XR members

Simon Sinclair from Surrey and Sam Swain from Kent set off today to cycle over 1000 miles from Kingston-upon-Thames to Barcelona, Spain.

Sponsor Simon and Sam

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Judge acquits Horse Hill protestor after finding prosecution witness had “tendency to exaggerate”

Press Release from Extinction Rebellion

Lindsay Parkin at Staines Magistrates’ Court

An Extinction Rebellion activist charged with aggravated trespass after occupying a Surrey oil rig in October last year has been acquitted after the judge questioned the reliability of the prosecution witness.

Lindsay Parkin, 56, a management consultant from Brighton, appeared at Staines Magistrates Court this week (22 April) charged with aggravated trespass.

He was arrested after he and Alistair Sandell, 52, a horticulturalist from Uckfield, entered the UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) Horse Hill oil extraction site near Horley, in the early hours of 10 October 2020.

The two men climbed an oil rig on site to a platform 15 metres above the ground, where they hung a banner saying “No More Oil” and remained there for 12 hours, in protest against UKOG’s plans to extract oil and gas from the site.

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UKOG applies for an environmental permit for new oil wells at Horse Hill

UK Oil and Gas Plc is applying for an environmental permit for the new oil wells and 20 years of production at Horse Hill which received planning permission in 2019.  The work can’t proceed without this Environment Agency permit. 

We urge everyone to object it’s easy just click ‘Online Consultation’ here;  (or search “EA Horse Hill permit”)

The consultation closes 21 April 2021.

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