WHO are we?
WAVERLEY AGAINST DRILLING is a non-political group ‘run by residents for residents’ based around the village of Dunsfold but with support from the wider area and the local Friends of the Earth group. We are very concerned about the application by UKOG 234 Ltd (UKOG) to Surrey County Council for an application for planning consent for a temporary (3 years) industrial facility to explore for oil and gas at Loxley just outside our village. A second application is now proposed by IGAS for another site also just outside Dunsfold and we believe that more applications will follow in other parts of Waverley.
WHAT are we here for?
Currently our main aim is to prevent exploration and production of hydrocarbons (oil or gas) in Dunsfold. We intend only to use lawful and democratic means by exercising our rights through the planning and regulatory process.
In order to work effectively as a group, we are committed to researching the operational techniques of companies in the Surrey & Sussex Weald, investigating what exactly is being proposed by UKOG and to network and to co-ordinate our responses to this application. More widely, we are working with similarly concerned groups, locally and nationally, to oppose “conventional” (but which on closer examination is pretty “unconventional”) hydrocarbon extraction across the Surrey & Sussex Weald, as well as highlighting gaps in the current legislative/regulatory framework
WHERE are we?
Dunsfold is a beautiful village with approximately 1300 residents of all ages, some families having lived here for generations. The village is about 12 miles south of Guildford, part of the Surrey Hills and bordering onto an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many people know of Dunsfold because of the aerodrome, built for WWll, home to the development of the Harrier jump jets and famous for the filming of Top Gear and one or two James Bond films!
WHY do we need to act?
The extraction method that the industry intends to use is called Acidisation. This brings noise, flares, heavy traffic on our country road, a range of chemicals whose toxicity in some cases is unknown and untested. It brings unwanted heavy industry to our peaceful villages – and as we know, it brings social stress. It is also contrary to the increasingly urgent moves by Government to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and the declarations of a Climate Emergency including the one declared by Surrey County Council on 9 July 2019.
WHEN do we need to act?
NOW. The oil companies are prospecting in a few scattered places across the South East but they are thinking big. UKOG’s CEO is on record as talking about ‘back to back’ wells so there could be literally hundreds of wells across the wider Weald. What is proposed now is much more intrusive and intensive than ‘conventional’ oil and gas extraction, and regulation is lagging behind new technology. Should the exploratory phase be successful there will be further applications for the production of oil or gas on a commercial scale across our area.
The burning of fossil fuels is a well known major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and hence the climate crisis. It needs to stop.
It is in this context that we are raising strong objections against any planning applications to drill for gas or oil in the Weald and ask you to join us.”