Oil exploration at Leith Hill reprieve - likely appeal ahead

Two-and-a-half years after Surrey residents first heard about the Europa Oil & Gas application to undertake oil exploration at Leith Hill, the plan has been rejected.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2011

Two-and-a-half years after Surrey residents first heard about the Europa Oil & Gas application to undertake oil exploration at Leith Hill, the plan has been rejected.

The application was refused on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on the area at Bury Hill Wood, near Dorking.

“We are delighted,” says Peter Tindall, chairman of the Leith Hill Action Group. “Located within this  Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), both the site and access road, Coldharbour Lane, are nationally protected.

“They make up part of one of the most beautiful yet fragile natural environments in the country, enjoyed by thousands of visitors.”

The council received more than 1,600 letters of objection to the scheme. Among the many objectors were the National Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Surrey Hills AONB.

Europa has confirmed it is likely to appeal while the Leith Hill Action Group says it will continue its efforts to ensure that wherever oil drilling activity takes place, it is from a sensible site, not within a designated and nationally protected AONB. 

For more information about the ongoing campaign, visit www.lhag.info.   

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