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Campaigner crowd funds legal action over decision by council to allow expanded oil drilling

A local campaigner is seeking to crowdfund the money needed to launch a judicial review of Surrey County Council’s decision to allow expanded oil drilling near Horley.

Sarah Finch said she had objected to the application for four more oil wells and 20 years of production at Horse Hill, which she said was “wrong because of the climate emergency” and because of earthquake risks and the impact on Green Belt.

She said such expansion would make Horse Hill the second largest onshore oil production site in the country.

Ms Finch noted support from Marc Willers QC from Garden Court Chambers, Estelle Dehon from Cornerstone Chambers, and solicitors from law firm Leigh Day who would work on the case for “a fraction of their usual fees”.

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She said she needed to raise £25,000, of which her crowdfunding page shows £5,437 has so far been donated.

Surrey's planning committee approved the application by seven votes to two in September.

A spokesman for the county council said: "The Planning & Regulatory Committee approved the Horse Hill application as it was in accordance with the development plan and policies laid down by Government."

Mark Smulian

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