East Riding Council approves plans for oil and gas well near West Newton

Published: Thursday 4th June 2015 by KCFM

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East Riding councillors have approved plans for Rathlin Energy to drill a new oil and gas well near West Newton.

Local protesters have criticised the plans, which they believe could lead to the controversial process of fracking being carried out in East Yorkshire. Rathlin Energy, which owns two other sites at West Newton and Crawberry Hill, has always maintained that it has no intention to frack.

Richard Howarth from the Hull and East Riding Green Party told KCFM:

“We’re disappointed, but not surprised.

“The council are treating it as a temporary application, which is ludicrous because you don’t explore unless you intend to produce. You need to take into account the impacts and risks of production when you decide whether to let them explore, and they failed to do that.

“There’s going to be huge amount of traffic coming through Sproatley, there’ll be a lot of disruption from that, but the biggest concern is risk to the aquifer.

“We get all of our water from the underground aquifer for Hull and East Yorkshire, and that’s at risk. That’s really scary.”

Campaigner Jon Mager believes the decision should have been deferred:

“This is the start of turning the whole of Holderness- and a large part of the East Riding wolds- into an industrial gas field. That’s why there should have been a full environmental impact assessment.

“We argued that they should defer the decision, because they need much more information before they take a decision. The councillors ignored that.”

A spokesperson for Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited, said:

“We are pleased that the planning committee was minded to approve our planning application for West Newton B. This will enable us to continue our drilling and testing operations for conventional oil and/or gas and underscores the fact that we have and will continue to deliver our work in accordance with our permits.”

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Published: Thursday 4th June 2015 by KCFM

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