BREAKING: Judicial Review Decision
We are extremely disheartened and disappointed that our challenge to the decision of the Planning Inspector to allow oil exploration in Balcombe, a village in the Sussex Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was not successful and that it has been rejected. The judge has stated that “All the Grounds having been refused, I reject this challenge.”.
Six legal arguments were all rejected:
Ground 1: Unlawful to rely on benefits without harms of hydrocarbon extraction.
Ground 2: Flawed interpretation of M7 of the West Sussex Mineral Local Plan
Ground 3: Unlawful failure to consider alternatives to the AONB
Ground 4: Failure to comply with EIA Regulations
Ground 5: Failure to consider the impacts on climate change
Ground 6: Unlawful failure to assess impact on water resources
The decision goes against local democracy where the planning inspector overturned the refusal by West Sussex County Council and opposition by Balcombe Parish Council and hundreds of local people.
We are speaking to our lawyers about a possible appeal.
- Judicial Review Decision Document – Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association v Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities 2023
FFBRA was formed in 2013 and objects fundamentally to the presence of the oil and gas industry in our village on grounds of air pollution, industrialisation, water use, potential water pollution, earthquakes and health impacts, toxic waste, climate change, noise, traffic, and the imposition of stress and strife on our once peaceful lives. If you live in Balcombe and would like to become a member you can do so online.