How to Object To The Drill Site Size Increase Planning Application – With Link

Clayton Wellman added this article to the Leith Hill Protection Camp Facebook group.

Click here to read the online Application Display on the Surrey County Council planning website.

Clayton says:

You can comment on (object to) the new plans to increase the size of the site and add perimeter fence and guardposts etc here: http://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/plancomment.aspx…

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-10-20-59If it is helpful, this is what I wrote:

“This application should not be allowed to go forward without a further Environmental Impact Assessment for the new site parameters The site being in such a sensitive location in unspoiled woodland at the heart of the Surrey Hills AONB demands that any environmental impact be carefully considered. The change to the plans is a material change with substantial increase in erections and size. Not only that, it means the site will now extend closer to waterways and the threat of contamination will thereby be increased further. This must be reconsidered, otherwise it is, in my view, no longer legal or valid as it is markedly different from the plans passed previously

Furthermore, the site is completely unsuitable for access and construction. The lanes leading to it are extremely narrow, high banked and with ancient woodland lining the sides. It will be impossible for HGVs to get up and down to the site without causing irreparable damage. This is a direct threat to the AONB. No traffic management plan will be suitable and the plans should fail on this point alone.

On a general note, the primary purpose of the AONB designation is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the landscape, with two secondary aims: meeting the need for quiet enjoyment of the countryside and having regard for the interests of those who live and work there. These plans and those that came before entirely contradict these purposes. They threaten all aspects of the AONB status and designation. The proposal is unwanted by the community, it brings no benefits to those who live and work in the area and it will destroy the peace and opportunity for quiet enjoyment. It is obvious to see that rather than conserve and enhance, it will destroy, pollute and degrade. In short, the application is not suitable for this location whatsoever and should clearly be rejected altogether.”

Divesting from Oil

Perhaps only a few who read this will own shares in any of the consortium of 5 companies who want to ‘drill on the hill’, but many may be unwittingly supporting them indirectly via their energy supplier, and via the banking services they use.

Energy Suppliers:

All the ‘Big Six’ energy supply companies are heavily invested in fossil fuels.
More ethical and progressive suppliers are Ecotricity and Good Energy, and I believe to a lesser extent Ovo.
Ecotricity were also cheaper than all of the big six (or at least they were a few months ago), so to change to them can be a win / win option. Also, if you are really passionate about this campaign and making the change to support this cause, if you instruct Ecotricity when you register with them, they will make a donation to Frack Free Surrey (£40 for electricity only or £60 for gas & electric).
Good Energy are also essentially a renewables energy company.
If in the near future you are moved to end your association with one of the big six, and taking your custom to a healthier home, please be sure to tell them exactly why.

Banking

Some attention has been paid to who is funding these oil exploration companies, and it has not been a massive supprise to discover that our High Street Banks are playing a significant part in it.

The 3 main players in the proposal to drill the well on Leith Hill, along with their stakeholdings, are:
Europa Oil & Gas Plc (40%)
UKOG Plc (30%)
Egdon Resources (18.4%).

Lloyds Bank have investments in ALL three of them.
HSBC have invested in the biggest two, Europa & UKOG.
Barclays Bank have too.
RBS have invested in Europa.
(please be aware that these investments may be direct or indirect, for details see the diagram from which I have collated this info, in the link which I will post as a comment underneath this post)

Hence it would be great if all people who oppose the plans to drill can ensure that they are not unwittingly supporting such destructive activity via who they are using for their banking services, and switch to another bank where appropriate.
And if anyone should go so far as to endure the inconvenience of changing banks ( and we think folk should!), on the way out of the door of your old bank, I think it is really important that you tell them EXACTLY why you are leaving – ‘I object to your investment in Europa O&G Ltd, and hence your financial support to the drilling of an oil well on Leith Hill in the Surrey Hills AONB. I cannot be party to such an investment by association with you’ for instance.
It may also be good to refer them to the wider issue in play – that the fossil fuel related investments of our biggest 5 banking operations currently total approximately £66 Billion,
When signing up with a new provider, it may also be a good idea to tell them why they have won your custom.