Regulation

Objections to Isle of Wight drilling top 670 in 17 days

200627 Arreton launch DDTW2

Photo: Don’t Drill the Wight

A group opposed to plans to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight said its campaign had been boosted by more than 670 objections in 17 days.

Don’t Drill the Wight predicted that in the remaining 10 days of a public consultation objections to an application by UK Oil & Gas would top 1,000.

There have been more 30 comments in support of the scheme.

The objections include submissions from the Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, and Arreton Parish Council.

Mr Seely said the oil and gas industry was “not appropriate for the island”. The application was contrary to local planning policy, he said, and the local ambition for the Isle of Wight to achieve the lowest carbon footprint in England by 2020.

He said the site would increase traffic movements, be visually intrusive and have negative associations, threatening island tourism.

In 2019, the island was designated a UN biosphere as a learning site for sustainable development. Mr Seely said:

“Restarting oil exploration does not demonstrate our commitment to this designation.”

He said that the island needed to preserve its conservation status, with 28 miles of Heritage Coast and 395 local wildlife sites. He added:

“The development conflicts with our economic aims. Our visitor economy is worth £520m annually. Oil exploration may threaten that.

“We need to make sustainability part of the Island’s identity.

“The island has a unique opportunity to pioneer tidal energy, recycle 100% of its own waste, develop a smart grid, and reduce the use of oil-based plastics. We must not put off this action.

“Restarting oil exploration on the island has the potential to harm the Islands conservational status, economic aims and identity as a sustainability leader nationally.”

Arreton Parish Council made 26 separate objections to the proposal. These included concerns about highway safety, groundwater and river contamination, light, noise and air pollution and the impact on the biosphere reserve and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Arreton Parish Council said:

“Approval of this project would seem to be incompatible with the Isle of Wight Council’s recent declaration of a climate emergency.”

It added:

“Land is a finite resource, especially that given over to agriculture, and it should not be lost to speculative non-agricultural development.”

The objection concluded:

“The members of Arreton Parish Council feel that the risks posed by this project outweigh any potential benefits.”

A spokesperson for the Don’t Drill The Wight campaign said:

“It has been inspiring to see the passion and concern that Islanders have for the environment.

“They recognise both the need to protect the sustainable tourism and agricultural sectors of the local economy and to play a part in tackling the wider global issues of climate change, habitat loss and threats to water supplies.

“To have these views backed by our MP and the local parish council sends a clear message to the fossil fuel industry that the time for new oil exploration is over.”

10 replies »

  1. Last chance for UKOG to blag more cash , refusal could be the final nail in the coffin for this lifestyle company .

  2. Chris Bartlett (Sussex CC):

    “On the consultation, he says, the substance is considered from comments, not the numbers”.

    So, keep on going. The name has been changed, to indicate another tree is being barked up, but the poster shows how fake this still is!

    (Unless those “responsible” feel that there is so much oil there, under so much pressure, that it will explode into the sky!! OMG-seems to be a signal to invest plus a safety issue to have to reduce that pressure via extraction. The reality is a little less exciting. Antis never been very good at getting their posters to represent reality. Good job industry still has to follow the ASA.)

    • At least the anti comments have substance other than the usual investor’s copy and paste “We need oil” The Covid PPE dependence remarks from UKOG’s uninvested CEO shows how desperate they are to find any valid reason for anymore failures. What happened to the 1600 bopd on restricted choke that Lenigas said was coming out of HH? It’s become obvious that they were talking about waste water and not oil.

  3. Do they, Jono? How do you know they are investors? You do not, you just make it up, post it and think it will be believed. Par for your course. (Maybe they are just users of oil, just like yourself, Jono.)

    On IOW at first the antis couldn’t define correctly what they were against, now they rebrand but produce posters which are total fiction!

    Perhaps they could find a picture of the Torrey Canyon, which was FACT, and let the locals know that is what is risked CURRENTLY in the Solent, and could be somewhat de-risked by local supply?

    I think you will find that Fawley has recently INCREASED output of synthetic rubber to recognize increased demand within the health sector. FACT not desperation.

    Interesting that the expansion of Southampton Airport is also now open for discussion. (Fuel from Fawley.) Shock/horror-airport expansion! Nope. Just means that aircraft would be able to take off with a longer runway with more fuel on board and travel further, or the same distance with more passengers ie .allowing existing aircraft to perform at full efficiency. But, the antis for that, will avoid that reality as well.

  4. Bob Sealy & the IOW seem to of not taken any account of the UK governments existing commitment to oil exploration on the IOW when going for its biosphere status.

    This licence was issued & remains in effect for the UK government which sold the PEDL licence through the OGA covering the IOW & remains a commitment to the whole of the UK & its economy award or no award.

    If the IOW does not want to be part of the UK maybe it should be voting for independence. Then we will see if it will sink or swim?

  5. Many think there is allowance for UDI within the planning process, MH. Wressle showed that is not true.

    Unless IOW can come up with some real objections that fall within the process and would stand up to scrutiny on appeal-ie. NON IOW review-then they have a problem. And no number of letters will change that process.

    Surrey CC grappling with the same problem currently.

    I do find the comment about adversely impacting tourism rather funny! How does a small well site do that compared to a sewage works, that is required to facilitate those very tourists? Nipping back to Loxley-why not have Dallas themed wedding specials at the wedding venue?

    If Mr. Sealy would prefer Fawley Refinery stops cleaning the water in the Solent, I’m sure that could be arranged. Maybe not so good for numbers of tourists visiting the IOW though.

  6. Why does “Martin Collyer” keep referring to Fawley Refinery “cleaning the water of the Solent” as if they were a benevolent water conservation organisation.
    According the the refinery website:
    “Our record on releases of oil in water used by the refinery is also excellent. The site draws over 300,000 tonnes of sea water from Southampton Water every day, mostly for cooling purposes. When it is returned to the sea after purification it is often cleaner than when it was extracted.”
    In other words they have to clean the seawater they use for refining and often but not always succeed, for example the time they were fined for releasing a large quantity of oil into the Solent.
    Guess some IoW residents remember this pollution incident and others “Martin”? Hardly an excellent example to bolster your efforts to persuade those opposing onshore oil and gas to shut up and go away.

  7. Oh dear, oh dear!

    The Internet warrior trawls for ages, and that is the best that can be found?!

    They take the Solent water for cooling and return it (often) cleaner than when extracted. Not difficult to understand. Benevolent? Exactly.

    (Don’t look at what happens next to Ikea, in Southampton, “Jon”! Surely that should be defined as fracking, and just look at the damage the Germans have done with it!)

    “Jon”-if you search far enough you can find the real polluting culprits with regard to the Solent. Perhaps the shipping (and leisure) in the Solent and Channel should all be stopped? Now that would really be great for the IOW. How about the IOW ferries, that run down yachts? Yep-stop them. Car transporters sailing out of Southampton, that tip over? Yep-stop them too. And that leaves unemployment on IOW in a bigger pickle.

    I suspect many remember the Torrey Canyon, “Jon”, and might like to lessen the risk of another one, but still retain the refinery and chemical complex well paid jobs. On shore oil would assist in that respect.

    IOW residents will be familiar with pollution, but not so worried about Fawley Refinery. The improving bass fishing around the Island is proof that water quality is pretty good, but some sewage pollution problems still exist. Those tourists need limiting! Or, better sewage treatment. But, that can’t happen because such would destroy the countryside! LOL.

    So, there is a refinery cleaning the water, there are the tourists helping to pollute the water. Both provide income to the Island. Just maybe, the former helps to provide better facilities for those very tourists? The Island needs much more than tourism.

    A short while ago, I could have even directed you “Jon”, to a local University lecturer, who used Wytch Farm (Europe’s largest on shore oil field) as the ideal example to her students, of industry existing happily and comfortably within an area of extreme ecological sensitivity! Wouldn’t make you happy, but true. I am sure you can trawl through the records in a vain attempt to “prove” it “untrue”, but it remains true. (Interesting that the Chinese students usually returned their projects right first time, many of the British ones Giggled “alternative truths”, and were made to rewrite!) Most ecological damage in that area from???-TOURISTS-lighting fires!

    Mind you, I could also direct you to a Liberal Democrat councillor who campaigned endlessly against development on the Solent, and then declared that Marchwood Power Station was coal fired! Just have to wait a while, and then the fog lifts. So, reality can be sacrificed as long as the cause is “just”?? Not new, is it “Jon”?

  8. By the way, Jon, you might find my comments about IOW were quite clear on the fact the process will be followed by the Planning people, and the numbers of letters is not really the issue. Nothing to do with objectors not objecting or going away.

    Maybe you think people away from IOW forget the recent General Election, which was a key Green target, for the reason there has long been a sizeable Green voting group on the IOW. The Council are quite aware of that. So am I. So hundreds, or even 1000 letters? Well, 11,338 Green votes in the 2019 election BUT they decreased in percentage of the vote and the Tories gained (41815).

    So, yes there will be some mobilized on IOW to protest. They will be the minority. Their numbers, compared to elsewhere will be quite sizeable. It really is not difficult to identify if you know the Island at all. The Council does, and I do. Sorry to rain on your parade, but the recent GE confirms my point, even though you may like it to have done something different.

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