Belfast Telegraph

Woodburn Forest oil test drill company InfraStrata withdraw injunction application against protesters

By Linda Stewart

The oil exploration company behind the Woodburn borehole has withdrawn an application for an injunction against 10 protesters campaigning for the project to be halted.

InfraStrata had summoned 10 people to the High Court last week, applying for them to be evicted from a protest site at a forest path at Paisley Road at the access point to the site where a 2km borehole will be sunk.

However, its lawyers have now applied to the court for a discontinuance order, ending the legal action.

Local residents joined the Stop The Drill campaign, which has questioned how InfraStrata has been allowed to carry out oil and gas exploration close to a reservoir that drinking water to hundreds of homes.

Work began on the wellsite last week after Mid and East Antrim Borough Council approved InfraStrata's Waste Management Plan.

The company was not required to apply for planning permission for the project.

It is understood that a local resident has now put Mid and East Antrim Council on notice of his intention to commence judicial review proceedings over the plans.

Following the brief High Court hearing on Friday, the Stop The Drill campaigners released a statement saying: “InfraStrata have failed in their attempt to pursue an injunction against peaceful law-abiding people at the High Court.

“Our position has been vindicated.

"This has been a massive victory for us. The tide is turning against InfraStrata. We now look forward to pursuing them in the courts."

The campaign has been backed by Spotlight and Avengers star Mark Ruffalo and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger.

Last week it emerged that the Department of the Environment failed to give an opinion on the proposal within the required time limit, resulting in the project getting the go-ahead by default under permitted development rights, instead of having to seek planning permission.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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