Judicial Review granted – We go to the High Court!
Great news, on the 28th April 2023, a High Court judge ruled that we can proceed with our claim for a judicial review.
After reviewing our claim, a judge has concluded that our case deserves a full hearing. This will last two days and be held at the Royal Courts of Justice. If we are successful in court, planning permission granted to Angus Energy to explore for oil in Balcombe will be revoked.
The defendants for the case are Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Angus Energy, and West Sussex County Council.
West Sussex County Council have acknowledged that they are in an unusual position with regard to our Claim. Its Planning Committee refused Angus Energy’s application for planning permission and it opposed Angus Energy’s appeal to the Secretary of State. It is however named as a Defendant because of its role in screening out an EIA for our site.
We are very pleased to report that the judge has stated that our case is an Aarhus Convention claim. This limits our liability for the costs incurred by the three Defendants to £10,000. This cost protection is important. Without it, we would have been exposed to unlimited costs, and would have been unable to proceed.
Our legal costs to get to this stage (permission to have a judicial review) have been £5,275. If we lose our case then we will need £10,000 for the defendants costs and £20,000 for our (heavily discounted) legal costs. We therefore now have to raise the additional funds to meet these contingencies.
We are grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this point. We could not have done it without you, but we still need help to finish our fundraising.
Our crowdfunding page “Stop Oil Exploration in Balcombe, Sussex” is live on CrowdJustice https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/stop-balcombe-oil/ please pledge whatever you can.