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.