Horse hill appeal fundraiser

The online auction to raise funds for the Horse Hill Appeal is now live!

Climate campaigner, Sarah Finch, is challenging Surrey Surrey County Council’s decision to allow four new oil wells (in addition to the two existing wells on the site) and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill, near Gatwick Airport.

At the Appeal Hearing, starting on 16th November 2021, the court will decide whether Surrey County Council should have taken account of greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil produced at the site.

This Auction Fundraiser is the last in a series of crowdfunding and fundraising initiatives to cover costs of the legal case, which have also included Pat’s 100 mile sponsored walk and  a sponsored bike ride from London to Barcelona.

Please support this fundraiser if you can! Click here

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Further information on the case from Weald Action Group’s website:

‘The oil produced here [Horse Hill] could give rise to more than 10 million tonnes of greenhouse gases when it is burned – but these ‘indirect’ emissions were not assessed during the planning process. Sarah argues that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should have included an assessment of the full climate impacts of the project.

Last year, a judge dismissed her challenge, but a judge in the Court of Appeal, Lord Justice Lewison said that Sarah’s argument “has far reaching ramifications” and “the emission of GHG is a matter of considerable public concern”. He added that “in view of the importance of the question, I regard this as a compelling reason for the appeal to be heard”.

If Sarah’s case succeeds in the Court of Appeal, it could potentially have enormous significance. In future, for any planning applications that are likely to have a major effect on the environment, the developer could have to assess the full climate impacts, including emissions that are outside their control.

This would be a huge step forward in closing the current gap between our climate treaty obligations and planning practice in the UK.

The hearing takes place in the Appeal Court in November 2021. Sarah’s lawyers are working hard preparing her case and will be up against lawyers representing Surrey County Council plus Horse Hill Developments Ltd and the the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Friends of the Earth has joined the case on Sarah’s side. Sarah is represented by Leigh Day solicitors, Marc Willers QC (Garden Court Chambers) and Estelle Dehon (Cornerstone Chambers). Friends of the Earth is represented by Paul Brown QC and Nina Pindham (No 5 Chambers).

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