'Huge amount at stake': landmark case could see fossil fuel projects blocked in the UK

The Supreme Court deliberated on whether planning permission should have been granted for an oil extraction project in the Surrey Hills, with the decision likely to set an important precedent on whether the “inevitable” future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of a fossil fuel project should be considered.

The case has been brought by campaigner Sarah Finch, who has taken her fight to overturn Surrey County Council’s 2019 decision to grant planning permission for oil drilling at Horse Hill, Surrey, all the way through the courts.

Finch lost her case in the Court of Appeal last year, however this decision could be overturned depending on the results of a two day hearing at the Supreme Court this week.

The END Report spoke to Hausfeld's Head of Commercial Disputes and Committee Member of the LSLA, John McElroy, ahead of the trial. He commented “If the Supreme Court overturns the Court of Appeal’s judgement, local authorities will be obliged to consider end-use emissions – in addition to emissions of the development itself – as part of any EIA undertaken in the course of deciding planning applications. This would drastically alter the output of the EIA in a way that makes it more difficult for such future developments to get planning permission.

Furthermore, John McElroy and Partner Simon Bishop discussed the case with ICON.

The full END Report is available to read here, accessed upon registration. 

The full ICON article is available to read here.

Perspective on Landmark legal challenge may impact planning decisions for new fossil fuel projects

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