Plans for two more gas wells on Yorkshire coast

Drilling for gas
Drilling for gas
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Councillors have today backed plans for a further two exploratory petroleum wells in Holderness, despite more than 160 objections.

Campaigners warned further industrialisation of a swathe of countryside would follow the decision made by East Riding councillors. There could eventually be six wells in the area around West Newton, in Holderness.

They say they will be examining the case for a judicial review following the meeting at Beverley.

The firm behind the plans, Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited, will drill two conventional wells at a depth of between 1,600 and 2,000m off Crook Lane, near Burton Constable, close to a well drilled in 2013 at West Newton.

They will not be using the controversial drilling method known as fracking.

Campaigners spent many months protesting at Crawberry Hill, near Walkington, where Rathlin drilled a well in 2013.

Just two councillors spoke against the plans this morning, ward councillor John Holtby, who said the proposals would further industrialise the countryside, but leave locals no better off.

And Coun Nigel Wilkinson said a breach of the aquifer - the risk of which is highest in the first stage of drilling - would have a “devastating” impact.

He said: “Low or negligible risk to groundwater is not acceptable to me. This is our drinking water.”

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.”