Michael Gove has blocked drilling of a controversial exploratory oil properly within the south of England, inflicting campaigners to rejoice however sparking an indignant response from one of many corporations concerned.
Concerns over the affect on historic woodland led the setting secretary to resolve towards renewing the lease on the web site close to Holmwood within the Surrey Hills, which is on Forestry Commission land.
Europa Oil and Gas, the agency behind the challenge, stated it could withdraw its planning utility however would discover different websites to take advantage of the oil licence it holds for the world.
The web site at Bury Hill Wood has seen among the fiercest opposition towards a brand new rush for hydrocarbons within the south of England, together with a protest camp that was evicted final yr.
Opponents stated drilling was inappropriate in an space of excellent pure magnificence (AONB) and put water provides in danger.
Gove’s choice seems to run counter to a renewed push by the enterprise and communities departments to extend onshore oil and gasoline manufacturing to offset declining North Sea output.
However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pressured that selections have been made on a case-by-case foundation specializing in environmental impacts.
A Defra spokesperson stated: “The nation’s woods and forests are cherished pure property and we wish to guarantee they’re protected now and into the longer term.”
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Campaigners have been jubilant. Brenda Pollack, south-east campaigner at Friends of the Earth, stated the rejection was “a big victory”.