Public consultation over Isle of Wight oil exploration

  • Published
Land off the A3056 near ArretonImage source, Google
Image caption,
The application involves land near the New Barn Business Park

Plans to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight are to be opened to public consultation.

UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) wants to drill an exploration borehole at Arreton, south east of Newport. It said there would be no impact on the area if the drill sites were not viable.

A public consultation was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Environmentalists and the council body responsible for the island's roads have already criticised the proposals.

UKOG had originally planned to drill offshore in its search for reserves but scrapped the plans in 2018 in favour of onshore exploration at Arreton.

Plans 'catastrophic'

An independent report published in 2016 suggested there were 15.7 million barrels of recoverable oil in the area.

Chief executive Stephen Sanderson previously said the drilling would benefit the local economy and pledged to give a percentage of profits to the island if drilling went ahead.

The Green Party called the plans "catastrophic" when they were revealed last year.

Island Roads has recommended the application for refusal because of concerns about drainage and the impact of extra traffic on the Newport Road, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The three-week public consultation was originally put on hold when planning processes could not be completed because of coronavirus restrictions.

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