Isle of Wight councillors call for postponement of UKOG oil planning application

The application for an exploratory well pad is currently under public consultation, but inconsistencies and discrepancies in the way the application has been advertised have been raised

Site of the UKOG exploration plans

Two Isle of Wight councillors are calling for a decision on UKOG’s current planning application to be postponed.

The application for an exploratory well pad is currently under public consultation (deadline 24th July), but inconsistencies and discrepancies in the way the application has been advertised have been raised.

Cllr Karl Love (Ind) told News OnTheWight,

“I think this is a huge decision for our Island as a whole and not being able to have access to consultation materials and in the usual way of access means that many people may not be able to participate and have their views heard.

“This is a matter of democracy and inclusion for me, as we have seen democratic process on the Island diminish under this administration’s governance.

“The decision that is to be made will be used as a precedent for further applications where there might be drilling for oil or shale gas. It is therefore imperative that everybody be fully consulted given that there is little opportunity to have this issue debated in the chambers.

“The rights of the Island people are paramount and above that of the applicants right to have their case heard at this time. I therefore implore this administration to delay deliberation on this application until it is possible for everybody to have a full and proper inclusion in the process.”

Cllr John Medland (Ind) told News OnTheWight,

“I’m appalled that the public consultation is going ahead under current restrictions on public involvement, which remains until now advertised on the IWC Website as not possible.”

The IWC Website states:

However, we will not be starting the formal public consultation period for major and EIA developments until Government guidance on non-essential movement changes and we can safely put up site notices and undertake site visits. We will then also advertise these types of planning applications as usual in the local Press.

We will continue to determine planning applications that are already in the system that have been subject to public consultation.

Today (Saturday) sees the launch of the Don’t Drill the Wight campaign.

Saturday, 27th June, 2020 8:52am

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Filed under: Arreton, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Merstone, Planning, Top story

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7 Comments on "Isle of Wight councillors call for postponement of UKOG oil planning application"

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steveweblin

For a couple of days I have been unable to access the planning site to leave an objection. Can login to main council site but the planning section was broken. This is a further restriction on consultation.

Tamara
This isn’t an isolated case – a year or so ago I tried for days to comment in a public consultation on housing policy, but couldn’t access the planning site, and there was no message to say that the system was broken. At least now they have posted a message to confirm it’s not working and when it will be up and running. But this is at… Read more »
Tamara
I totally agree with Karl Love that it is undemocratic to deny those without access to the internet their right to access planning documents so that they can take part in public consultations. If the planning offices cannot be open to the public for the whole consultation period, the consultation should be postponed. English law is based on the concept of what is fair and reasonable –… Read more »
steveweblin

Today the planning website includes a note saying:

Please Note: Due to scheduled maintenance this service may be unavailable at times between 08:00 on Saturday 27th June to 23:59 on Sunday 28th June 2020. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

richardshanklinite

If this just goes ahead and some nameless person decides to pass the planning ignoring the inconsistencies and discrepancies would the relative persons be put on a disciplinary for failure in observing correct protocol? Or will they just get a consultant which us rate payers pay for?

Angela Hewitt
Over the years I have been to a few consultation meetings where the local community can have their say. This is what I have found 1) The officers control the meeting and guide you towards what they want. I guess that they have had training in how to do this. 2) By and large the officers follow government guidelines, indeed they have to follow government guidelines. 3)… Read more »
alisonjane
Why is this even being considered? Surely the protests, followed by the ‘earthquakes’ in Lancashire are testament of the damage that can be caused. Can you imagine earthquakes on the Isle Of Wight? Hasn’t the IOW just gained Bioshere status only a year ago? With many AONB sites on the Island, this site being on the edge of one, how is this going to affect such areas?… Read more »