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Liberal Democrats in Surrey pledge to fight fracking decision 

August 3, 2022 3:30 PM

black silhouette of drilling equipment against a dark blue sky ()Prominent Lib Dems in Surrey have declared their intention to lead the fight against a decision to allow exploratory drilling for gas and oil at a site at Loxley, near Dunsfold in Waverley borough.

Permission to starting fracking activities was originally refused when the application was considered by the Planning & Regulatory Committee at Surrey County Council. However, UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) appealed the decision, and it was recently overturned by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Community, currently under the leadership of Michael Gove.

Many local residents are opposed to the scheme and cite numerous concerns ranging from noise, light and air pollution to highway design, and the detrimental impact on the local wildlife and landscape.

Paul Follows, Lib Dem County Councillor and Leader of the joint administration at Waverley Borough Council was extremely robust in his response to the appeal decision and said

"It is completely at odds with our declared Climate Emergency and similar declarations made by the County Council and the government. In this country, we should be massively increasing our investment in renewables where we have genuine competitive advantage, such as offshore wind, rather than onshore oil and gas in the middle of the Surrey Hills." He went on to say, "We are absolutely opposed to it in any form and will consider all legal means to stop it."

Waverley Borough Council's Executive agreed to seek permission to challenge the appeal ruling and is now waiting to hear the outcome of that process.

In the meantime Paul, representing Waverley constituency, has teamed up with fellow Parliamentary Candidate Zoe Franklin (Guildford) to issue a joint statement to assure local residents of their support and to "not stop fighting alongside them to stop this drilling."