Protect Dunsfold fights UKOG appeal decision on Loxley
Many will remember a lively meeting in the Winn Hall in February 2019, when Dunsfoldians were first alerted by experienced Weald campaigners to the plans UKOG had for Dunsfold.
UKOG had secured a landowner’s consent (STPP*) to drill for oil or gas in a field, now known as Loxley, between Thatched House Farm and Crafty Brewery, the High Billingshurst wedding venue, and close to the Stovolds Hill traveller camps. This would involve many HGVs coming from the Nanhurst lights through the zig zag and turning left at Pratt’s Corner at the top of the village, everyone knows the “heart in mouth” experience of that junction! Now add this! video of trucks turning left at UKOG’s Horsehill site near Gatwick.
Protect Dunsfold Ltd (PDL) was set up in 2019 as a company limited by guarantee to represent the views of local residents opposed to fossil fuel developments in the Dunsfold area. It has consistently done this and so it is now able to bring this action on behalf of our community
In 2020 Surrey County Council rejected the application twice at two separate hearings; UKOG appealed and eventually in June 2022 their application was approved by the Secretary of State for Housing and Levelling Up. On the same day that Loxley was approved, two similar applications to drill in the north of England were rejected.
PDL received legal advice that there are good grounds to apply for the decision to be reviewed by the courts. Waverley Borough Council received similar advice from their own lawyers and we will be cooperating as the case goes forward. PDL’s participation is important because unlike Waverley, our costs can be capped under the Aarhus convention and we can Crowdfund contributions toward our costs. In this way we will share Waverley's costs and reduce the impact of fighting for our local democracy on local council tax.
The Good Law Project (GLP) has agreed that the issues in this case will have broad application to future decisions on environmental matters and have offered financial and strategic support to the case. GLP is a non-profit organisation and will be undertaking a Crowd Justice fundraiser through their wider community on our behalf. Funds raised go to funding the costs of this action on behalf of Protect Dunsfold and with any surplus enabling GLP to offer similar support to similar deserving and important causes.
Please support PDL and GLP by making a donation via this link
For more information about Good Law Project check here
This article is an excellent summary of the history and current position of the threat to Dunsfold
for updates on the battle go to our Waverley against Drilling website
*STPP - Subject To Planning Permission.