Jeremy Hunt ‘bitterly disappointed’ after gas drilling greenlit at Dunsfold in South West Surrey

A library image of Jeremy Hunt MP. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Hunt said he is “bitterly disappointed” after a Court of Appeal ruling gave the green light to a gas drilling project in his Surrey constituency.

Drilling at the Dunsfold site, part of the South West Surrey constituency represented by Mr Hunt, who is also chancellor, has been the source of legal battle, with strong opposition from the local Conservative council.

Whilst he was a backbench MP, Jeremy condemned the Government’s decision to grant permission for gas drilling to start.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, he said: “I am bitterly disappointed to learn that the Court of Appeal has today refused permission for any further appeal against the UKOG planning consent for the Loxley gas well outside Dunsfold.

“I stand ready to provide my assistance and support to local communities in any way possible going forwards.”

The Liberal Democrats, the main challenger in the south of England seat, urged the Chancellor to intervene on the Loxley project.

The party’s environment spokesman Tim Farron called it a “shameful outcome”.

“This Conservative Government’s policies have resulted in greedy gas barons ripping up the Surrey Hills,” he said.

“They have railroaded this through the courts despite local outrage at the plans.

“Surrey’s green land is about to be torn up, proving you simply can’t trust the Conservatives on the environment.

“As the local MP, Jeremy Hunt must now intervene. He is supporting a policy which will allow his constituency to become an oil field. Local people will be furious at his silence.”

In the North Sea, Mr Hunt and other ministers have keenly backed plans to maximise oil and gas production as key efforts to ensure energy security for the UK.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...