East Yorkshire villages are to work together to oppose plans for expansion and production at an oil and gas site.
A meeting yesterday agreed on a joint campaign by local parish councils against proposal by Rathlin Energy for its West Newton-A site.
The company is seeking planning permission to triple the width of the site, drill an extra six wells and produce hydrocarbons for 20 years.
The local county councillor, Jacob Birch, said today:
“It is clear the overwhelming majority of residents and Parish Councillors don’t want to see this development take place and I am happy to support the fight to object to this development in the strongest possible way.
“A working group of elected members from various Parish Councils is to be formed to work on a joint action plan and substantive objection.”
Campaigners against the proposals have welcomed Cllr Birch’s opposition.
Earlier this week, Cllr Birch, along with two other county councillors, asked Rathlin Energy to establish a community fund if the planning application were approved.
The company replied yesterday saying it was “already addressing” a community fund for what it called “the longer-term socio-economic and environmental benefit of the people and communities who live nearby”.
But Rathlin said any discussions on a fund would “only take place with full agreement and participation of planning and legal officers from East Riding of Yorkshire Council”.
Rathlin’s county manager, Tom Selkirk, said the company had invested about £12m in the past 10 years, “either through donations or contracts to provide services to support our development”.
The company has drilled a total of five wells at three sites in East Yorkshire: West Newton A and B and Crawberry Hill. It is considering expansion at West Newton-B and two new sites, to be called West Newton C and D. Crawberry Hill has been restored.
In May 2021, minutes of the West Newton Community Liaison Committee confirmed that Rathlin Energy had commissioned and installed a defibrillator in the village of West Newton. A bench was donated at Walkington, a resident has remembered.
Ruth Hayhurst will be reporting for DrillOrDrop from the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November