Anti-fracking protestors banned from UK Oil and Gas' Horse Hill
Staff Writer |
Anti-fracking activists have been banned from disrupting operations at the UK Oil and Gas operated and majority owned Horse Hill site near Gatwick Airport after an interim injunction.
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A high court judge granted the injunction against protestors who have been 'slow walking' on roads at the site to disrupt vehicles, locking themselves to fences and climbing onto lorries in order to force drivers to abandon their journeys.
UK Oil and Gas welcomed the ruling against what chief executive Stephen Sanderson called "disgraceful actions of a 50-strong mob".
"The actions employed by this mob, under the guise of what we understand to have been an 'activist training exercise', were threatening and intimidating to UKOG staff, contractors, local residents and the police. Nine arrests were made," said Sanderson.
The defendants are understood to be considering an appeal against the ruling which they have branded as only a partial victory for UKOG as it does not cover the company's headquarters in Guildford.
"We're going to fight on. We do not believe that powerful private companies should be able to use the law to silence and intimidate campaigners concerned about the dangers and damage to the environment and our communities," said the Weald Action Group.
As well as UKOG's 46.7% beneficial interest in Horse Hill, other stakeholders include AIM-listed Alba Mineral Resources, which has an 11.765% interest.
UKOG was likely to be down as its 40%-owned Holmwood licence saw the lease for a proposed drill site cancelled by the minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
On this, Sanderson said the decision was "disappointing, but not altogether surprising".
"As the Leith Hill Site was less than ideal, we now welcome the opportunity to plot a new way forwards to drill both the Holmwood prospect and other nearby prospective Kimmeridge targets in the near future." ■