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Horse Hill: Court of Appeal to hear challenge over controversial oil drilling permission

news release

The Court of Appeal will hear a legal challenge on Tuesday 16 November 2021 to Surrey County Council’s controversial decision to grant planning permission for oil drilling at Horse Hill, in greenbelt countryside in Surrey.  

The challenge has been brought by Sarah Finch, on behalf of the Weald Action Group, and is due to last a day and a half.

Friends of the Earth has been given permission to intervene in the case and will support Sarah’s case.

The UK government has also been given permission to take part in the court case as an interested party and is defending the decision by Surrey County Council.

The legal challenge centres around Surrey County Council’s decision not to take into account the full climate impact of the oil development in the context of the current climate emergency.

The Court of Appeal will be asked to consider whether the environmental impact assessment (EIA) used as part of the decision-making process should have considered all the climate impacts of the development – including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the burning of the oil produced at the site when it is actually used. That is where the majority of emissions will arise.

A media release will be issued ahead of the court case.


For more information and interview requests contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 or email 

Notes to editors

  1. About Friends of the Earth: Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page 

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