Leith Hill Action Group – Newsletter 25 (1st May 2014)  

Stop the Leith Hill oil drilling!

Hello to all our supporters!

It has been a little while since our last newsletter, but the reason for this is that thanks to all of your generous support, we had reached our fundraising target and were busy, heads down, preparing for our Appeal Case.

The preparations

In the first few months of the year, we spent a long time fully researching all possible avenues of attack for our case and constructing possible lines of argument, which culminated in a 25 page paper being sent to our barrister.  This was to assist the barrister in preparing our skeleton argument – a document setting out our key arguments, which must be submitted to the Court ahead of the Appeal Hearing.

Following submission of the skeleton argument, we had a very successful meeting with our barrister in March, talking through the arguments that were to be presented in order to assist his preparations.  This was followed up by us in April with written notes of the meeting as a record of the key points to be brought out at the Hearing.

There was also plenty of administrative work to do along the way, including putting together the “bundle” – essentially a folder of all of the documents that both parties will refer to during the Hearing – and lodging it with the Court.

The Hearing

As you will know from our last update, the Court of Appeal Hearing date was scheduled for either 30 April or 1 May.  Well, it took place yesterday and we are pleased to report that we felt it went well.

The Hearing lasted for close to 4 hours.  Our barrister went first, presenting our case to the three Appeal judges.  Europa’s barrister then put their case forward, with our barrister closing proceedings with his reply and summing up.

The result

Sometimes, decisions are given on the day of the Hearing.  This has not happened in this case; the judges have gone away to deliberate and we will now have to wait for the result.  This could take a number of weeks, but rest assured that as soon as we know, we will let you know.  In the meantime, let’s keep everything crossed for the result we are all hoping for.

And finally… some fundraising news

One other bit of news on the fundraising front is that we successfully managed to get ourselves into Waitrose as one of their green token charity boxes.  For those of you that don’t know, Waitrose give away a total of £1,000 every month split between three local good causes, with the amount each cause gets being proportionate to the number of tokens in its in-store collection box by the end of the month.  We will therefore shortly be receiving a proportion of £1,000, so thank you to everyone who put their tokens in the LHAG box!

Patrick Nolan

The Leith Hill Action Group