Following recent events at the Leith Hill protestor camp and the creation of a further protestor camp at the Horse Hill well site (now protected by a High Court injunction), Angus believed it prudent to ask the High Court for an injunction protecting the Balcombe site, and Angus’ rights to access the site, in respect of the upcoming flow test. The injunction was granted by the Court on Thursday 13 September and will be formally served shortly.
In summary, the injunction prohibits acts of trespass at the Balcombe site and also prohibits persons unknown from committing any of the following offences or unlawful acts on that part of the B2036 (London Road) that travels north from the Balcombe site until it reaches junction 10(a) of the M23 (excluding public footpaths and pavements), namely:
- blocking the highway with persons or things when done with a view to slowing down or stopping the traffic, and with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site;
- slow walking in front of vehicles with the object of slowing them down, and with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and/or or visitors to the Balcombe site;
- climbing onto vehicles;
- otherwise, unreasonably and/or without lawful authority or excuse, preventing Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site from access to, and/or egress from the site;
- otherwise, unreasonably and/or without lawful authority or excuse, obstructing the highway, with the intention of causing inconvenience and delay to Angus and/or visitors to the Balcombe site.
The unlawful acts noted above also give rise to criminal offences, which, if committed may entitle the Police to exercise their powers of arrest (as they consider appropriate).
Angus have observed that other oil & gas sites that are protected by similar injunctions have had a marked decrease in protestor activity during operational periods. They therefore hope this pre-emptive injunction will help in minimising any disruption during the upcoming flow test.
Angus are currently progressing with site preparation, for example, installing an impermeable bund, and look to progress the actual flow test in due course. See pictures below:-