West Newton B is a well site to explore and test for oil and gas, proposed by Rathlin Energy (UK) Ltd. It will be the 3rd recent well site in East Yorkshire, after Crawberry Hill and West Newton. An access road will be 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, and not quite as deep as the Bowland Shale. (However oil companies have been known to drill deeper than they said they would.)
It will be located in Holderness, north east of Hull between Sproatley and Aldbrough. It’s just East of Burton Constable Hall.
West Newton B Wellsite
East Riding of Yorkshire
Planning Permission to drill and test the well was Approved 4th June 2015, subject to Conditions. Condition 4 (archaeology works, see below) is not expected to be met until at least January 2016.
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 needs to be agreed before this Planning Condition is met. This is expected to be around January 2016.
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.
The Application for the above Permit was made on 15th Sept 2015:
Community Liaison Committee Meeting 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:
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.