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 Bletchingley, Brockham, Bury Hill Wood (Leith Hill) and Horse Hill.

 

Bletchingley

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

Brockham

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:

https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/psc/rh5-6hn-europa-oil-and-gas-limited/

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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: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/fracked/

Brockham oil protestors in court as Surrey confirms drill was not permitted

As the row over unauthorised oil drilling in Brockham continues, local residents from the Dorking area and other anti-fossil-fuel protestors are appearing at Redhill Magistrates court on Monday 20 March. They were arrested in January for “slow walking” in front of lorries at the Brockham drilling site. They are charged with obstructing the highway and are expected to plead not guilty.

The arrest of one of them, Jacqui Hamlin – who was led away in handcuffs despite protesting peacefully – has been watched thousands of times on Facebook and YouTube.

Another arrestee, Amanda Wheatland, said, “The police were being taxpayer-funded security for the oil company Angus who were flagrantly flouting planning consents and permits at an oil well in Brockham.

“Myself and others were in constant communication with Surrey County Council over the numerous breaches of planning permissions and were constantly lied to and fobbed off by both Angus and SCC. Last week it was revealed that Angus had drilled a 1,350 metre side track without permission and in direct opposition to what Surrey County Council had told them they were allowed to do within existing permits.” 

Oil firm told it needed planning permission

The arrestees – and members of the Protection Camp which was set up to monitor the activities of Angus Energy over the winter – were concerned that unpermitted drilling was being carried out at the site. They watched as a drilling rig was brought in, as well as lorries carrying toxic materials.

It has now been confirmed that Angus Energy did not have planning permission for the horizontal sidetrack that was drilled. Angus Energy claims it did not need planning permission, despite being told it did by the Council.

Local Green campaigner, Jacquetta Fewster, said: “Whilst Angus Energy was drilling, without the necessary planning permission, it was ordinary people – peacefully bearing witness – who were subjected to arrest.  It is the directors of Angus Energy who should be held to account.

Keith Taylor, MEP for South East England, said, “The drilling, without permission, of a new well is an outrageous breach of an already deeply strained trust. It is little wonder why residents and campaigners simply don’t trust the oil and gas drilling industry or the Government ‘regulations’ utterly failing to protect our environment and our local communities.” Read more from Keith Taylor MEP

Surrey County Council has confirmed that Angus Energy needs to submit an application for retrospective planning permission and will oppose any further unauthorised work at the site.

Those who support the protesters are invited to come and show support the strength of public opinion on this issue, at the Redhill Magistrate’s Court, at Hatchlands Road, Redhill, RH1 6DH, at 9.15am on Monday 20 March.