West Newton B

Spring 2020 Update: West Newton B construction underway.

Nov 2018 Update: West Newton B construction abandoned; instead drilling 2nd well at West newton A

Dec 2017 Update:  Delayed construction of West Newton B well site now due to commence in 2018.
Rathlin Energy informed the Community Liaison Committee; a copy of the Minutes can be found further down this page here; and it was covered by Drill or Drop here.

  • Rathlin Energy have applied to close the roads around the site during operations, for up to nine months
  • Access road construction will take about six weeks, with ~730 vehicle movements
  • Wellsite construction will also take about six weeks, with ~710 vehicle movements
  • Well drilling due 2nd quarter of 2018.  Planning conditions limit drilling to 10 weeks per well (permission for 2 wells)
  • Rathlin Energy maintain a mini-frack was not undertaken at West Newton A, although there is evidence that they attempted one, and it went wrong.

West Newton B is a well site to explore and test for oil and gas by Rathlin Energy (UK) Ltd.  It is the 3rd recent well site in East Yorkshire, after Crawberry Hill and West Newton A.  An access road has been built across the fields to the south, with the traffic route through the centre of Sproatley.

The proposed depth is approximately 2100m.  This is less than Crawberry Hill & West Newton A, and not quite as deep as the Bowland Shale.  (However oil companies have been known to drill deeper than they said they would.)

After three years of delays and changing plans, site construction and drilling got underway in Spring 2020.  During the pandemic.

Click to go to the West Newton B Gallery

Click to go to the West Newton B Gallery

West Newton B well schematic, from the planning application.

West Newton B well schematic, from the planning application.


It will be located in Holderness, north east of Hull between Sproatley and Aldbrough.  It’s just East of Burton Constable Hall.

map of well sites_


Map WNB OS_circle

APDX1 Location Plan 1-10,000

Red line plan on 1:10,000 map

West Newton B Wellsite
Crook Lane
West Newton
East Riding of Yorkshire


Planning Permission

Planning Permission to drill and test the well was Approved by East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) on 4th June 2015.

The full application, comments & associated documents can be viewed here:
Planning » Application Summary 14/04107/STPLF.
To view the original application documents (as oppose to more recent correspondence) sort the Documents by date, oldest first.

The Planning Officer’s Report (in the Planning Committee Agenda) recommended Approval.
The Planning Conditions, including Condition 12: fracking is not permitted, are in:
Documents > Notice of Decision

Audio recording of the planning meeting:


Archaeology – Condition 4

Planning Condition 4 states, “the site lies within an important archaeological wetland landscape dating back to the prehistoric era … potential remains at risk”.  It could be the site of a middle-age West Newton village.  A Written Scheme of Investigation had to be agreed with ERYC in order to meet this condition.


Environment Agency (EA) Permit

The EA permit allows the company to drill a well for conventional gas exploration, to burn any gas produced during the drilling or testing of the well in a flare, and to discharge clean surface water from the site.  It covers the disposal of potentially radioactive waste water, but does not say to which licensed facility it would go.

The Permit, aka Mining Waste Permit, was issued on 2nd August 2016 by the EA here.

West Newton B – EA Permit
West Newton B – EA Permit Decision_Document

Permit Application

The Application for the above Permit was made on 15th Sept 2015:

Application Forms
Covering Letter
Drilling Products
Environmental Risk Assessment
Front Cover and Contents
Non Technical Summary
OPRA Profile
Site Condition Report
Site Plans
Waste Management Plan


West Newton “Community” Liaison Committee Minutes

A complete archive of West Newton “Community” Liaison Committee Minutes can be found on the West Newton A page here.


How many more?

One of our biggest concerns has always been the sheer number of wells, close together, that the unconventional oil & gas industry requires.  The countryside ends up looking like this:

Poster Conserve our countryside Texas

In order to produce the amount of gas of which government & industry boast would require 75,000 wells across the UK; perhaps a couple of thousand across the East Riding.

Rathlin Energy already have permission to drill 2 more wells on their existing 2 sites at either side of their licence area.  Now they’re constructing this 3rd site, along with a new connecting road, only a mile south of West Newton A, and were discussing plans with East Riding of Yorkshire Council as long ago as April 2014.  It is a lot harder to stop this industry once established.  So… how many more?



Some example objection letters to West Newton B explaining exactly why locals are so opposed to industrialisation of the East Riding for the risky exploitation of outdated fossil fuels.

Objection - clarity

Objection – potential for harm; traffic; safety.

Object - listen to sub committee

Objection – Listen to your own sub-committee


Objection - What next?; Clarity.

Objection – What next?; Clarity.

objection Jon Mager West Newton B

A pretty comprehensive objection (10 pages)