Today’s the day for the David & Goliath fight to begin.


The outcome of today’s hearing could have significant implications far beyond Dunsfold. Success would force the Government to reconsider its approval of the scheme and ensure more robust scrutiny of future fossil fuel projects as they go through the planning process. This is absolutely vital given the climate emergency we are living in.

Pictured earlier today at the High Court, ready for battle.

Environmental campaigners, including villagers from local Dunsfold Groups, will join ‘Your Waverley’ as they make their way to London this morning to stop gas exploration.

Aided and abetted by the landowner, former Alfold farmer Ashleigh Ward, UK Oil and Gas intends to set up a drilling operation on the Loxley Field on Dunsfold Road. It has Government backing, with Secretary of State for Levelling Up & Communities Michael Gove allowing UKOG’s appeal on a site in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s backyard. He lives in nearby Hascombe.

Local campaigners, including Surrey Compass, are mounting the legal challenge, and the Judicial Review of the decision will be heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand.

Activists assembled early this morning with plenty of colour, pipes and drums to make their voices heard amongst the legal eagles who will listen to the case at 10.30 am. 

UKOG’s proposals received government backing in June after they were rejected twice by the county council.

Paul Follows, leader of Waverley Borough Council, said it was…

“perverse” to allow an exploratory well on green belt land next to the Hascombe Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

He said the unprecedented extreme heat warning made it an appropriate day to commit to fighting against the drilling, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.


The Good Law Project is also heading to the High Court to support the campaign group Protect Dunsfold in their legal challenge against the Government’s decision to approve a fossil fuel exploration scheme on the edge of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

If we want to give ourselves a chance to tackle the climate emergency, we can’t continue exploiting our natural landscape for fossil fuels.

But in June 2022, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities decided to overturn two previous planning refusals by Surrey County Council and give UK Oil and Gas the green light to drill in search of natural gas on a site near the village of Dunsfold.

This scandalous decision runs roughshod over local democracy and goes against our vital efforts to get to net zero.

It is not only the idyllic local landscape and wildlife at threat. The scheme could also severely affect businesses, including a nearby brewery and a wedding venue. And an annual cancer awareness festival on an adjoining field may be forced to cancel if the drilling takes place.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.