Eviction of monitoring camps outside an oil and gas site in East Yorkshire cost the county council a total of £33,983.34.
The figure, disclosed this week, was for three evictions of camps outside the West Newton-A exploration operated by Rathlin Energy in Holderness, north of Hull.
Campaigners had said the camps were needed to monitor operations at the site round-the-clock.
They said the official regulators did not have the resources to carry out adequate monitoring.
Today, residents living near the site reported unacceptable night-time noise from the site.
See Noise complaint
Lawyers acting for the campaigners had written to ERYC saying eviction amounted to an unlawful interference with human rights to freedom of expression and assembly.
But the council said the camps, on roadside verges, must be removed for “road safety concerns”. Officials used emergency procedures in section 149(2) of the Highways Act 1980.
On each occasion, police supported enforcement officers working for the council. The total cost to the council did not include police resources, equipment or time.
A monitoring camp at West Newton-A was first established in January 2019 when the company began to install equipment to drill a second well at the site.
In February 2019, people living near West Newton-A appealed to the council to drop the eviction plans.
But the council leader, Stephen Parnaby, said ERYC and Humberside Police were concerned about the safety issues of the encampment outside the well site. He said:
“Due to these safety concerns the council will not withdraw the notice served.”
Today, a family from Withernwick, which overlooks the site, wrote to Rathlin Energy and ERYC to complain about drilling noise from West Newton-A.
They said they had been in contact with Rathlin Energy on several occasions this year about the site.
“Last night reached a new low. We were unable to sleep, virtually all night, due to a loud thrumming, vibrational noise coming from the drill site.
“We look straight at the site with no trees or buildings as buffers.
“The noise went on and on. It was like a plane engine throbbing in the distance that just never stopped. It is absolutely unacceptable.
“We are a hard-working family and one of us has a 2 ½ hour commute twice a day. Being unable to sleep is tortuous.”
A spokesperson for Rathlin Energy said “the company deals with all comments it receives directly [with those who contact them]”.
to comment on the family’s complaint. This article will be updated with any response.
In February, monitors filmed contractors at West Newton-A lose control of an operation to lower the vent pipe of a mud treatment rig. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive concluded that site contractors breached regulations and failed to follow best practice. (DrillOrDrop report)
During operations at the site in 2014, the Environment Agency warned Rathlin Energy after 14 breaches of environmental permit conditions. (DrillOrDrop report)