Leith Hill Action Group – Newsletter 13 (28th September 2012)        

Stop the Leith Hill oil drilling!

Hello and welcome to our thirteenth newsletter.  This newsletter contains some good news and some bad news.

First, the bad news: this is in all probability the final newsletter I will be writing.

And that’s because of the good news: an unequivocal victory for LHAG!

That’s right, this may be the thirteenth newsletter but it’s not unlucky for our supporters.  The appeal has been dismissed!

What’s more, the primary reasons given for the dismissal were based on an issue only cited in LHAG’s Statement of Case, that of inappropriate development in the green belt.  Without LHAG’s participation as a Rule 6 party, this issue would not have formed part of the defence’s case for formal objection to the appeal

So you can all be extremely proud of yourselves.  We have collectively proved what people power can achieve through a group of motivated individuals coming together and working to defend something they love. 

Many along the way questioned whether this was possible, implied that we were dreamers and told us to give up because we wouldn’t win.  But by showing it was possible, not only have we felt justified in our actions in never giving up, I think we have given faith to those in similar situations to not give up either. 

This is not just a victory for LHAG, the other organisations who shared our platform and the Leith Hill area, but a victory for the defence of all our vital landscape against inappropriate development.

The story isn’t quite over yet, however.  Europa have six weeks to launch a challenge to the decision in the High Court.  It can only challenge the decision on a point of law.  As far as the facts are concerned, the Inspector’s decision is final. 

Thank you so much for all your support during this long and arduous road.  Your emails and letters have kept us going, whilst your continual presence during the Inquiry itself was, I’m sure, a stern reminder as to how seriously the public takes this case. 

And, of course, without the fantastic sums of money raised by donation, sponsorship and events, no campaign would have been possible.  Without your support, we would now be looking forward to the oil drilling development, with all that was implied by such industrialisation.

And to those who doubted our ability to get the result we wanted and who called us dreamers: well yes, we were.  But to them we say: “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.”

LHAG and all its supporters certainly dreamed with their eyes wide open.

Very many thanks from all of us on the team.

Patrick Nolan