Wait for government ruling on environmental study for East Yorks oil site

Local councillors in East Yorkshire are still waiting for a government ruling on whether expansion plans at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A well site need detailed environment research.

The West Newton-A well site in East Yorkshire. The application will seek permission to expand into the neighbouring field. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Planners at East Riding of Yorkshire Council decided that an application for six more wells at the site and long-term oil production did not require an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

But almost 30 representatives from six councils in the area disagreed.

In a letter, dated 26 February 2021, they asked the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, to issue his own ruling on the EIA.

Under EIA regulations, the Secretary of State should make a screening direction within three weeks following a request.

Extract from The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017

It is now more than seven weeks since the date of the councillors’ letter. DrillOrDrop asked the Minister of Communities, Housing and Local Government whether a decision had been made.

A spokesperson for the department said:

“In line with the Regulations, consideration of the case will commence formally only once we are satisfied that all the information needed to inform the Secretary of State’s direction has been provided.”

The spokesperson said the department was waiting for consultation responses from several statutory agencies and that these were due “imminently”.

The spokesperson added:

“Once all the consultation responses are received, they will be reviewed and if we are satisfied we have all the information needed to determine the cases, the formal consideration period referred to in the Regulations can commence.

“The initial 21-day period referred to in the Regulations is not a statutory target and can be extended.”

An EIA usually increases the amount of work and time needed to compile a planning application.

In recent screening decisions, council planners ruled that proposals for oil production at Horse Hill in Surrey and Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire both needed EIAs.

5 replies »

  1. There is no ruling going to be made. Just another eye catching misleading headline by Ruth and the people who pay for these posts to be posted on the site.

  2. Picture showing devastated landscape – animal plenty woodlands tuned into empty fields used by human as food factories….
    And you want environmental study… really?

    Ruth, we never seen original landscape from Robin Hood days, but it is easy to imagine.
    Maybe better would be to fight for three replanting, reintroducing animas and setting up new protected areas?
    Stopping few small oil sites between farm fields in the vast landscape like British Islands, will not make any difference to nature.
    Oil will come to this land anyway, if needed… at grater environmental cost than extracted locally.

  3. Meanwhile the ‘environmentalists’ who had been monitoring the West Newton ‘B’ site, landed the local taxpayers with a £700 bill to remove the two caravans they abandoned and a further £313 bill for the removal of the waste and rubbish they left on the grass verge.

  4. Thankfully, John, it was less than the £400k cost for Wressle!

    Just goes to show, these sites are required to help fund the community, and replace some of the community funds lost by such persons.

  5. The West Newton ‘A’ enforcement actions also cost local taxpayers £33,983.34 Martin, but I believe a little was payed back into the system by some at Grimsby Magistrates Court last week. Thankfully the road will be closed from the start this time round.

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