OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
This from Alison Goodchild, Sandown. Ed
I am asking that the proposed planning application for the site of two UKOG oil wells and drilling in Arreton be put on hold.
My reasons are as follows:
There are over 700 comments on the IOW Council Website. Many are objecting to this planning application. There are some 60 comments in support of the application.
Having been up all night reading these comments in support, it is in my view obvious that most are from either employees of UKOG or their shareholders.
The same statements appear time after time, with the same wording as though they have been ‘cut and pasted’ into the comment box. It is my opinion that these comments should, therefore be discounted.
Having also read Jonathan Bacon’s comments on the Island’s recently gained UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status, it is apparent that due to the Covid-19 pandemic across the world, that all the relevant paperwork has not yet been put in place to make this 100% official.
Planning offices closed
This planning application has also been submitted whilst the IOW Council planning offices are closed. (Again, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.) This means that there has been no public consultation whatsoever by the company to Island residents.
It also means that there is at present, no way for the public or indeed any Town or Parish Councils, to view the plans in detail as they would normally have been able to, thus giving the applicants a very unfair advantage.
I understand there is also a judicial review to be held against Surrey County Council for its decision to approve the planning application submitted by the same company.
The last date for comments on this planning application, which will severely impact the Isle of Wight, is today (Friday 24th July).
I would expect there would be hundreds more objections to this planning application if we were not in a Covid-19 pandemic and people were not just coming out of four months of lockdown.
Keep comments open
With all that is stated in my letter, I feel there are more than sufficient reasons to keep the comments open on the IOW Council’s planning portal.
This planning application should also be deferred until people have the proper, legal access to the planning documents that they are entitled to see before any planning application is granted permission.
Submitted under cover of a global pandemic
In my view it has been submitted under cover of a global pandemic and it is just not right!