Police support council eviction of oil site monitoring station

190225 eviction WNGttGF10

About 10 police officers supported the eviction of a camp that had been monitoring operations at Rathlin Energy’s oil exploration site at West Newton in East Yorkshire.

People living near the site had appealed to the council last week (20 February 2019) to drop the eviction plans. But the council leader, Stephen Parnaby, told a meeting of the authority in Beverley: “Due to safety concerns the council will not withdraw the notice served.” (DrillOrDrop report)

The camp was established to monitor work at the West Newton, where Rathlin Energy has permission to drill and test a second well. During testing of the first well in 2014, observers reported concerns which resulted in the Environment Agency recording at least 14 breaches of conditions of the environmental permit.

The monitoring group said they believed the official regulators did not have the resources for effective checks on operations.

On 21 February 2019, the group confirmed it had moved the equipment, tents and caravans to a new roadside location on Fosham Road.

But this morning enforcement officers working for the council evicted the new camp.

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A statement from the authority said:

“East Riding of Yorkshire Council has serious road safety concerns about the encampment at West Newton.

“The safety of road users and the safety of individuals at this encampment is our top priority.

“These are narrow, unclassified roads with no road markings and are used regularly by farm machinery and heavy goods vehicles.

“Cars and caravans parked on the sides of these narrow roads cause obstructions and visibility issues for drivers and therefore increase the danger of accidents.

“Because of these safety concerns, the council served notice on 15 January, under sections 143 and 149 of the Highways Act 1980, requesting the removal of all caravans, tents, wooden huts and other items from the roadside as soon as possible, but no later than 20 February.

“Last week, however, the vehicles, caravans and other items were moved to an even narrower stretch of road nearby, thereby posing an even greater danger to the people themselves and to other road users.

“Today the council and police took appropriate action to remove all vehicles and items from this area.

“This action was taken under the emergency procedure contained in section 149(2) of the Highways Act 1980.”

One person was arrested during the eviction on suspicion of breach of the peace, possession of offensive weapon, affray and obstructing police. But police decide to take no further action because there was insufficient evidence.

Last week, West Newton Monitoring and Information Station vowed to find a way to continue to monitor operations at the exploration site. This post will be updated with reaction from the monitoring group when we have it.

36 replies »

  1. So, the group “monitoring safety”, has been removed after it created safety issues!!

    More of do as we say, not as we do.

    • Martin, I’m sure with their highly specialized skills in this area, BP, Shell Exxon etc are trying to head hunt them to ensure that their international operations run smoothly.

    • No Martian, wrong again as usual. The council and the police created a safety issue themselves and entirely blocked the road they were so concerned about. That was after the monitoring site was evicted and moved from a relatively safe location and forced to relocate to a less safe location.

      That situation was clearly caused by the council and the police, not the monitors.


      Clearly Rathlin and the council are desperate to prevent the public from monitoring the West Newton site to the point where they themselves created the safety hazard.

      But everyone else seems too scared to monitor Rathlins activities perhaps it is because the public might see something they are not meant to see.

      Rathlin clearly does not want to be observed.

      Why? We ask ourselves? What is going on there?

        • Whoops! A bit desperate Paul? You still obsessing? Not a good look, you are beginning to scare the children.

          You do realise you only display your own mindset don’t you?

          Conspiracies and la la land are your hang ups after all, I simply ask why Rathlin are being so scared of public scrutiny, a perfectly reasonable question seeing this frantic attempt to close down voluntary public monitoring isn’t it.

          Perhaps you think its all an Ian R Crane secret plot against the fossil fuel industry?

          But of course its you that sees “Enemies of Industry” under every rock isn’t it? I would worry about that if I were you, perish the thought.


      • Phil C the camp was not evicted until yesterday (25th), the activists themselves relocated to a narrower section of the road on the 20th February.
        It maybe a little difficult for you to understand and accept, but there is no conspiracy theory and some local residents actually wrote to Paul Bellotti, Stephen Parnaby and Graham Stuart MP to voice their support in the eviction of the camp.

        • Ha! Ha! Dear me. You do go on and on and on about it don’t you. Talk about obsession. John you appear to exhibit precisely the same mindset as Paul Tresto, labelling everyone else with the very same prejudices you have yourselves.

          Let me try to explain this to you in simple words, since that is all you seem capable of.

          1. Why did the monitoring site relocate?

          2. Because they had a notice of eviction and obeyed it.

          3. Why did they relocate to a less safe place?

          4. Because they were being evicted from their previously safer position by East Riding Council.

          5. Why did the monitors move to the less safe location?

          6. Because they didnt want to waste police time evicting them from the first safer location, but wanted to continue monitoring.

          7. So, whose fault was it that the police had to waste all that precious time energy and money on evicting the monitors from the less safe location?

          8. East Riding Council who intended to evict the monitors from the safer location and refused the public right to monitor Rathlins activities, which were proved to be valid by revealing the breaches of regulations and presumably would have revealed further breaches, something that perhaps was of concern to Rathlin and East Riding Council.

          9. Why did the police evict the monitors from a less safe location and manage to block that road in doing so that East Riding Council was apparently so desperate to keep safe?

          10. Because East Riding Council took out an eviction order against 500 local residents public support for the monitors and created all this fuss and bother and expense to the tax payer which was totally unnecessary in the first place.

          11. Who cause the situation where the monitors were relocated to a less safe location and then made the excuse to evict the monitors from there too?

          12. East riding Council, possibly with the influence of Rathlin Energy.

          Incidentally, was the second eviction legal, because the first eviction notice related to the first site not the second site, and we assume no second eviction order was drawn up and no notice given.

          Have we done this to death yet, or do you still want to drag it out ad in finitum and ad nauseam?

          Better now?


          • The original site was not safe hence the eviction notice.
            The activists moved further down the road to where its name changes from Pipers Lane to Fosham Road in an effort to outsmart the council and avoid eviction.
            They did not consider any safety factors when relocating the camp at a point where the road narrows further.
            In fact we were treated to the sight of activists “riding” 1 ton bags of logs as they were towed to the new location behind a transit van.
            Have you evidence of the 500 locals supporting the camp, did the council receive 500 letters or is the number based on the 594 members of the “West Newton gateway to the gas fields” FB page? The number is very suspect, when you consider that they could only muster 121 objections against Rathlin’s planning application.

            • Don’t worry Phil C, I have sent a request to ERYCC to see if we can get the actual number of those that wrote objecting to the eviction.

  2. From what I saw from the video it was the police who were obstructing.
    I’m from darlington so hope the man has been released without charge. No one should be charged if holding a peaceful protest or carrying out safety Checks It is the future you are trying to maintain

    • Angela – so what qualifications has Richard from Darlington got to carry out safety checks? [Edited by moderator]

      • Big love to you Judith, [edited by moderator] As an industry worker all my working life on high level sites and a host of qualifications [edited by moderator]

  3. Sounds to me that the locality is not suitable for all the additional heavy vehicular traffic that a fully operational fracking site would require!

    So why bother even carrying out pre-production testing? Roseacre in Lancashire was quite rightly refused permission for this very reason!

    The monitoring group at pnr, Lancashire bore witness to many breaches of planning conditions by the way which would otherwise have quite likely have gone unnoticed by the gold standard monitors who were mostly conspicuous by their absence!

    By the way we’re still waiting to discover whether Cuadrilla have cold vented quantities of gaseous byproduct into the our previously famously clean fresh air and whether in fact they are continuing to do so!

    • Clearly up to speed as usual Peter – it is a conventional gas well site, nothing to do with fracking…..

      Sounds to me like BS….

        • HCl will neutralize very quickly and the NORM content of any produced water will be in very low concentrations and very easy to deal with.

        • The site has a permit for the accumulation and disposal of radioactive waste from the NORM industrial activity of the production of oil and gas.

          The regulations require that you must display a notice near the entrance of a site to inform the public if you have a waste permit.
          The information must include the permit holder’s name, an emergency name and telephone number, a statement that the site is permitted by the EA, the permit number, the EA’s normal telephone number along with the EA’s incident hotline telephone number.

          The sign near the entrance to the West Newton site does not indicate or mean that the well will be used for the disposal of radioactive/nuclear waste.
          It means that they are allowed to store waste produced on the site containing radioactive material for a maximum of three months before it must be sent to a licensed and approved waste treatment facility.

          By the way, I injected my toilet bowl with the same strength Hydrochloric acid today, flushing it straight into the water system. Evidently we flush 1.55 million litres annually of the particular product I used today into the UK water system. There are several other different named products with the same strength Hydrochloric acid that are just as popular.

          • As someone who has regularly stood outside PNR gates for the past 26 months I have seen no notice relating to disposal of radio active waste displayed on the gates of Cuadrilla’s site. Am I to understand they have no permit?

              • Paul. As you mention, Cuadrilla have a permit EPR/KB3395DE which appears to cover radioactive materials. My comment was that in the 26 months that Cuadrilla have been on site , I have seen no notice relating to the permit.on the gates despite John Harrison’s statement that it must be displayed.
                Don’t be concerned about how I have spent the last 26 months. I do have a life other than at PNR. I have a family and animals to care for and still work 2 days a week despite my great age of 72 and have managed so far to survive breathing in the fumes at PNR.

        • 4.5 Radioactive Substances ActivitySchedule 23 defines the production of oil and gas as a NORM industrial activity and therefore any accumulation of radioactive waste, which exceeds concentration threshold set out in Table 1 of Schedule 23, and its subsequent disposal, requires an environmental permit to authorise a radioactive substances activity.The West Newton A operations may involve the production of formation water which may or may not contain NORM at levels exceeding those set out in Table 1 of Schedule 23, therefore, until such time as the concentration of NORM can be established a Radioactive Substances Activity Permit is required. A SR2014 No4 Permit (EPR/PB3030DJ) is currently in place

          Credits – PhilC’s link to frackfreeyorkshire

  4. Interestingly the dozen or so mindless goons facilitating the eviction completely missed the recovery vehicle displaying an illegally spaced registration mark ( number plate ). Not that they would have been capable of acting on their own initiative anyway – unless the drone controller sent a command into their ear holes.

    • Wow – headlines for the Humberside gazette – Recovery Vehicle with Wrongly Spaced Number Plate Escapes Detection.

      If you send the photos to MI5 they might be able to track them down and make an arrest

  5. Except, this is not a fracking site, is it Peter?

    Probably not worthy of researching the details as long as a bit of excitement can be generated.

  6. What false information John Harrison?
    Kindly explain that in detail to us?

    We await your highly revealing scientific critique of the Drill or Drop post on acidisation with baited breath.

    • Honestly, what a sad sorry display from the PR hacks?
      Once again we are reminded of the total failure of these people to show they have one shred of common human decency and humanity in these events or any other.

      These are the people who claim to want to represent the energy policies and supply of fossil fuels for ourselves and future generations to come.

      And yet all they seem capable of is this screeching harpy hysteria and soiling everything they cannot consume?

      So we are reminded yet again, that we cannot for one second trust these people to have any say or control over our future in energy terms or any other terms, or indeed that of our children and future generations to come.

      Perhaps we should thank them for making it so clear to us.

      That handing over responsibility for our countryside, our health, our ecology, our water and our planet to these people would be quite literally insane suicide.

    • Do you have evidence that the site is being prepared for the disposal of radioactive material Phil C, what’s your interpretation of the sign next to the entrance at West Newton?

      • I didnt say that did i John. Where did I say that?
        What i did say however was to ask you to explain your claim of “false information” regarding the Drill or Drop report on acidisation.

        Something you still have not done I see.

        However you did mention disposal of radioactive waste yourself.

        Don’t you read your own posts anymore? Or are we back to the COMAH-tose confusion.

        “The site has a permit for the accumulation and disposal of radioactive waste from the NORM industrial activity of the production of oil and gas.”

        Perhaps there is more that is revealed by Rathlin and East Riding council being scared stiff of any public monitoring of Rathlins activities at West Newton after all.

        The very fact you are so sensitive to the subject is perhaps more revealing than anything else of the whys and wherefores of all the the frantic secrecy.

        That simple observation….to coin an appropriate term….indicates something more interesting than just a conventional acidisation process doesn’t it.

        How does one inject acid into a toilet BTW?

        With a clean needle I hope.

  7. You did not read Wandering Dutchman’s full post Phil C or perhaps you just read the part that suited.

    The site obtained the necessary waste permit and is displaying the required signage, yet there is still the attempt by some to hint at more sinister motives.

    • I leave selective reading up to those who wish to be so secretive John.
      I didn’t mention radioactive dumping, and you still haven’t supplied your explanation of the false information in the Drill or Drop report on acidisation.
      Perhaps you selectively read that too?
      Maybe selective monitoring is also “de rigger”.

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