Leith Hill Action Group – Newsletter 16 (26th March 2013)    

Stop the Leith Hill oil drilling!

Hello and welcome to LHAG’s campaign newsletter.  This newsletter is to update you about our response to Europa’s challenge in the High Court to overturn the Planning Inspector’s decision after the Public Inquiry.

LHAG take on the fight

In our last newsletter, we told you that we had recently applied to the High Court for co-defendant status.  We are pleased to be able to let you know that this has now been granted.  As Peter Tindall, the LHAG Chair, said, “We have been campaigning against Europa’s planning application for four years and have no intention of giving up at this stage.”  Being co-defendant places us shoulder-to-shoulder with the government in defending the Inspector’s decision.

Surrey County Council throw in the towel

Unfortunately, Surrey County Council, who are already named as co-defendant, have elected to not pursue their defence.  We are disappointed by this choice, which is in opposition to the elected members’ decision to reject the application – a decision that was subsequently endorsed by the Inspector at the public inquiry. 

Surrey County Council’s stance makes it even more crucial that LHAG keep fighting.  We have been involved from the start.  This continuity will be vital in helping us win the appeal.

LHAG is focussed on its goal

Europa’s High Court appeal is on the interpretation of planning law made by the planning inspector rather than the merits of its planning application.  To fight this technical challenge, we have re-engaged our specialist planning barrister who represented us at the public inquiry and we are now working closely with him.

We have recently been informed of the date of the hearing – the 12th and 13th of November 2013.  Our barrister is currently drafting the witness statement necessary for our defence.

We believe passionately in the merits of our case and we will keep fighting with the same dedication that has brought success over the course of the last four years.  We hope that you will continue with us on this journey as we keep updating you in future newsletters!

Patrick Nolan

The Leith Hill Action Group