SENIOR COUNCILLOR SAYS “WE MUST AND CAN OPPOSE DRILLING FOR OIL ON THE ISLAND”

A senior Isle of Wight Councillor has said that the Island ‘must and can’ oppose drilling for oil ahead of UK Oil and Gas’ planning application being heard by the planning committee later today (Tuesday).

Councillor Jonathan Bacon, Cabinet Member for Environment and Heritage,has  said:

“The strength of public feeling against the proposal before the Planning Committee on Tuesday is clear, both in the number of objections received and the recently delivered petition signed by 4410 residents.

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“It is plain to anyone who recognises what is most important about our Island and who appreciates its natural beauty and fragile geology, that drilling for outdated fossil fuel sources is wrong. However, as with all planning applications, the decision needs to be based on Policy.

“As such the application exposes once again the the fact that we currently have an inadequate local policy base. The new Island Plan will eventually plug the gaps but in the meantime we are thrown back to relying on the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

“Despite this situation, things may not be so bleak here if one looks at the overall policy base. Government Policy has moved on since the NPPF was written and there is a clear direction of travel in respect of supporting green energy and climate change. In addition, while we still do not have a local Island Plan, we have a clear Climate Change Policy and we are now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. These are things that will obviously be reflected in the new Island Plan so it is inappropriate to rely on the fact that the new Plan itself is not in being yet when constituent parts of it clearly are.

“The fact that planning staff have in the Committee Report referred to Government statements that assert that fossil fuels will remain important as we transition to greener energy cannot be criticised. However I strongly feel they have not interpreted the Government’s stance correctly. While it may be obvious that such fuel sources will be relevant and important for some years to come, this is in no way a justification for new drilling operations.

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“This is particularly so if one further has regard to the overarching requirement that development should be sustainable. Fossil fuels simply do not satisfy this test.

“Further the assertions in the Planning Report that there are economic benefits to be realised from the proposed drilling must be queried. The report makes it clear that the local benefits are minimal and gives no detail or justification about the alleged wider benefits. When one combines this with the knowledge that the proposal would at most produce a supply of oil lasting for just 12 days the economic benefit argument falls flat.”

“Overall therefore, in addition to be able to state that the proposal is plainly inappropriate for the Island, the Planning Committee can refer to a clear policy base upon which it can support and justify a decision to refuse the application on Tuesday”.

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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isle of wighter
isle of wighter
1 month ago

The strength of public feeling about the floating bridge that was commissioned, whilst you were leader of the council, bacon, hasn’t seen you publicly admit the failings you and your administration made back in 2016 – with this floaty fiasco.

stop jumping on the virtue signalling, climate change bandwagon and fess up about floaty and be a bit more vocal about preventing housebuilding, which will reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
Reply to  isle of wighter
1 month ago

My thought’s exactly !!!
The floating bridge is our Heritage the IOW will go down in history for the biggest joke ever invested in .
As for owning up ?????
When do they ever admit they were /are wrong??????
Definitely trying to curry favour …..

smokey
smokey
Reply to  isle of wighter
1 month ago

i agree with you he is not the only one all under a new banner but wont admit to their short comings now back in power sort out the miss you left us with before creating another one

Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar
1 month ago

Big words from Bacon, let’s see how he stands by them.

Bird table
Bird table
1 month ago

Well, if you are going to go all the way green, you’d better start building the public transport infrastructure needed, now! as when all our fossil fuel (directly powered) vehicles (cars, vans, trucks and buses) go to the scrap yard and no more are built, what are we to do? Electric vehicles (indirect fossil fuel powered at the moment) are way out of a lot of people’s league. It’s a societal reset, total culture change, handbrake turn stuff! So its fine not to drill, but, DO NOTHING instead, is no longer an option. So, get DOING, not talking, as HM suggests.

Lambase
Lambase
1 month ago

The public realise now, that what they want will have no sway with the council UNLESS it coincides with what they were going to do anyway.

The residents of Ryde voted against Penny Feathers, RYDE council voted fully against it, yet it made no difference.

People voted against the changes at Ryde seafront, yet still going ahead.

Too much hidden personal interest in many massive projects where life changing amounts of cash can be divereted easily to those involved under cover, for the publics wishes to spoil such plans.

This may not be the case here, but the public have lost trust for good reason.

plato
plato
1 month ago

Perhaps you had also better heed the “strength of public feeling” about the last catastrophic financial mess/farce you left us with Mr Bacon – the floating bridge. Sort it . NOW.

JHVF
JHVF
1 month ago

Yes they’re all at it, band waggon jumping’s a good sport. The reality is that we will still need oil, albeit to hopefully a decreasing degree, so why not cash in while we have the opportunity. The ‘Eco Warriors’ have, naturally, overstated the downside. Yes there will be an annoying period of disruption but it’s all been done on the Island before, this will just be about the sixth time.

fred
fred
1 month ago

I have my pot of glue ready. If he wants to join me, I’ll be gluing myself to their equipment. Last thing we need is more oil.

dot
dot
1 month ago

The only senior thing about  Bacon he is a senior prat like the rest of them it say he is a Cabinet Member for Environment and Heritage and this is a guy who want to destroy the environment and heritage of the island he is now saying he is against drilling cos 4410 people have sighed a petition so what about the other 100,000 who did not sigh the petition so if it gets the green light will he be in that group

Oakwood
Oakwood
1 month ago

That photo of him makes him look arrogant ! He should be held accountable for the pile of floating junk, this is just a distraction !

 

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