Community group joins council in Dunsfold drilling challenges

A community group has added its voice to legal challenges against gas exploration near the Surrey village of Dunsfold.

Virtual protest before the Surrey County Council planning meeting on 29 June 2020. Photo: Weald Action Group

Yesterday, Waverley Borough Council’s executive voted to seek a judicial review of the ministerial approval of drilling by UK Oil & Gas (UKOG).

Now, Protect Dunsfold has told DrillOrDrop it has also served an application for a legal challenge.

The group said its papers were submitted to the High Court yesterday.

A spokesperson said:

“Protect Dunsfold Limited has confirmed that it is seeking the court’s permission to bring a planning statutory review under section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and will be making a further statement later this week.”

Protect Dunsfold opposed the original application for the well site, known as Loxley. It argued that the scheme would have an impact on the local environment, roads and businesses, as well as climate change.

In January 2022, the group organised an event which sought to demonstrate that large lorries delivering to the Loxley site would need to encroach on common land on roadside verges.

During a public consultation, 78% of comments were against the scheme. There were also objections from Waverley Borough Council and Dunsfold, Bramley, Alford, Witley and Cranleigh parish councils, along with CPRE, Waverley Friends of the Earth and Surrey Wildlife Trust.

Surrey County Council twice refused the plans, in June and November 2020. An appeal by UKOG was heard at a public inquiry in July and August 2021.

The Secretary of State recovered the appeal (made the decision instead of the planning inspector). In June 2022, the housing minister, Stuart Andrew, overruled the council decisions and granted planning permission.

DrillOrDrop has asked UKOG for a reaction.

1 reply »

  1. i don’t know why the people keep stopping the drilling for gas
    we need to use our own gas and oil then the price will drop
    and it will make jobs for the young as well
    to many rich people live in the country
    living in the past wake up smell the coffee

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