TONIGHT’s refusal to allow UKOG to drill holes on new agricultural land in Arreton, looking for oil, was greeted with pleasure by the councilor who represents the neighborhood in which the fields are located and the councilor. responsible for environmental issues.
Here’s what they had to say right after the County Hall meeting.
Read more: Councilors vote to deny drilling in Arreton
Cllr Suzie Ellis, who represents Arreton, said:
I am absolutely delighted that the members of the planning committee unanimously refused this inappropriate request and thank them on behalf of all the residents who contacted me, as a member of the Central Rural district, to express their opposition to the proposal.
Tonight we have sent a strong and clear message that the Isle of Wight can and will lead the way on environmental issues, and that we will protect the integrity of our biosphere status.
Given the importance of this program and how it flies in the face of the government’s agenda on climate change, biodiversity and sustainability, if the applicant appeals, I will write to the Secretary of State to ask him to “retrieve” the decision for his own determination.
It is important that a demand that goes to the heart of the government’s political agenda is decided by those who are politically responsible, just as we have been tonight.
I now clarify this intention, so that the plaintiff can decide whether the appeal, against what was unanimously refused this evening, is a useful step.
Isle of Wight Council Environment and Heritage Cabinet Member Jonathan Bacon said:
I am very happy that the planning committee voted to reject UKOG’s request to drill for oil in Arreton.
The proposal was totally and totally inappropriate for the island as it went against our UNESCO biosphere status, our tourism industry, our climate change policy and everything we love and want to preserve in our local environment.
The argument that new oil drilling could stand next to these things anyway has been put forward as completely devoid of substance.
When asked to explain the economic benefits referred to by UKOG, planning officers were unable to offer a rationale or details.
However, what has been demonstrated and has remained unchallenged is that the proposal would, at most, have led to the possibility of oil production of only a few days when it was clearly established that this would have resulted in serious environmental damage.
Considering in particular the reference and the confidence placed in our UNESCO biosphere status, I hope that this evening marks a great step forward in the pursuit and creation of a new greener and more sustainable future for the island, where we are working more than ever to support and protect what we value for future generations.