The plans for two exploration boreholes to be drilled on the Isle of Wight at Arreton have been given the green light by planning officers. Recommendations that consent be granted for the exploratory site have been made with a final decision due on 19th October.
The proposal was submitted 18 months ago by UK Oil and Gas Investments and has received 1,064 negative responses from the public. Many of these responses challenge the plans, stating how the drilling could affect the beauty of the island and disrupt local wildlife.
However, despite the public outcry, the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and Natural England along with the council’s ecology officer and environmental health team had no objections. The campaign group, ‘Don’t Drill the Wight’ says that this drilling would be catastrophic for the island’s environment and habitat.
An independent report from 2016 claimed that there were 15.7 million barrels of oil able to be recovered from the area, which, according to council officers, would provide great benefits nationally.
If drilling were to occur, Chief Executive of UK Oil and Gas Investments, Stephen Sanderson pledged to give some of the profits to the island and the company assured that no fracking would take place.
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