The Surrey Hills, one of the few unspoilt areas of the South-East of England, is set to be the subject of exploratory oil drilling, reported by a few sources.
It seems that (from the BBC) Surrey County Council have refused the planning application. However, there's a little more to it:
Surrey County Council's planning committee turned down the application earlier with a majority of six votes to four.
That's right - only one vote in it. I wonder who the four were?
The application, which had been recommended for approval by the council's planning officer, was refused on the grounds that it would have a negative impact on the area.
I am no planning expert, but generally speaking I think the planning officers check to see if the application is in accordance with the rules and plans that affect the area. The fact that an application to drill for oil in one of the few remaining naturally beautiful areas in the most populated area of the UK would fall within the rules rather beggars belief, don't you think?
The fact is, we don't need more oil. There's likely enough oil still in the ground to tip the climate over the edge if we burn it all.
The scariest prospect perhaps is that there could be an appeal against this decision.