Legal

Updated: Angus Energy granted injunction over Balcombe and Brockham oil sites

Balcombe,West Sussex, UK Anti Fracking protests..10th September

Protests about oil drilling at Balcombe in September 2013. Photo: David Burr

Updated 17 September 2018 with more information on the injunction.

Balcombe Parish Council reports this morning that Angus Energy has been granted a High Court injunction against protests at the oil site in the village.

The council said the injunction, granted on 13 September 2018, prohibits trespass at the site at Lower Stumble.

It also outlaws “persons unknown” from committing specific acts on a stretch of London Road from the site, through the village for about four miles to junction 10a of the M23.

According to the parish council, these acts include:

  • Blocking or unreasonably obstructing the highway with persons or things with a view to slowing down or stopping the traffic, and with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and its visitors to the Balcombe site;
  • slow walking in front of vehicles;
  • climbing onto vehicles;
  • unreasonably preventing Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site accessing the site

The injunction does not cover pavements or footways, the council said.

Court documents were published online on 16 September 2018. They show that the injunction also covers the Angust Energy site at Brockham in Surrey.

Another hearing at the High Court has been set for 2 October 2018. People who wish to challenge the injunction order should file evidence with the court and serve it on Angus Energy by 24 September 2018.

Balcombe Parish Council wrote on its website:

“Angus have observed that other oil and gas sites that are protected by similar injunctions have had a marked decrease in protestor activity during operational periods. They therefore hope this pre-emptive injunction will help in minimising any disruption during the upcoming flow test.”

Angus is currently working on preparation for a seven-day flow test at Balcombe. The scheduled start date for the flow test is now the last week in September.

The Balcombe oil exploration site was formerly operated by Cuadrilla, which drilled an exploratory oil well in 2013. That operation was accompanied by three months of protests.

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