Dorset

Poole Bay offshore oil rig consent to be reviewed

Oil rig, Poole Bay Image copyright Steve Parsons
Image caption Energy firm Corallian drilled for oil in Poole Bay in February and March

Wildlife campaigners who claim consent for oil drilling off the UK coast is in breach of European law have been granted a judicial review.

The Seahorse Trust applied for a review of a government decision earlier this year to allow energy firm Corallian to place a temporary oil rig in Poole Bay.

It said government regulations in general did not allow applications by energy firms to be fully scrutinised.

A High Court judge has agreed the claim is arguable and granted a full review.

Neil Garrick-Maidment, director of the Seahorse Trust which issued proceedings against Energy Secretary Greg Clark, said he was "absolutely over the moon" that a review had been granted.

"Common sense is prevailing at last," he added.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy previously said it did not comment on ongoing legal proceedings.

Image copyright Craig Pinder
Image caption The Seahorse Trust said dead seahorses, dolphins and a seal had washed up near the drilling site

Corallian, which has refused to comment on the legal action, previously said it had found "extensive" reserves of oil during its exploration of the Colter South area, off Dorset, in February and March.

Dorset Wildlife Trust said an "unusually high number" of dead seahorses subsequently washed up on Dorset beaches.

The Seahorse Trust said 11 had been found in or near Poole Bay since late March, as well as four dead dolphins and one seal.

"We have not had these sorts of losses elsewhere around the country so it's no coincidence," Mr Garrick-Maidment said.

A date for the judicial review has not yet been set.

Image caption The group Save Our Shores protested against the Dorset rig

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