Latest – Jan 2022
Application for a 3 year time extension now live
>>> Planning Reference 21/04629/CM <<<
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 wellsite 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.
After three years of delays and changing plans, site construction got underway in Spring 2020 (during the most serious part of the pandemic).
In 2020 West Newton B1 well was drilled to 2300m, but was no good, so they then drilled a side-track off it, WNB1-z.
But the side-track didn’t flow oil or gas either. In 2021 they reported “formation damage” and that they would be giving up on that well. They have planning permission to drill a second well, but the time limit is about to expire.
In 2022 they have applied for a 3 year extension to their Planning Permission. You can OBJECT NOW – even just a single word OBJECT, it only takes 5 minutes. You can also object to the West Newton A major Expansion.
Future plans for West Newton B include a major expansion to drill 8 more wells. These plans are referred to in ERYC’s Pre-application Advice letter. To download the letter first click Planning Documents then PRE APPLICATION ADVICE. ERYC have refused to disclose Rathlin Energy’s Pre-application Enquiry, despite Freedom of Information Requests, claiming it’s of “limited public interest”.
It is 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
A timeline of events and news reports is maintained here:
West Newton-B, East Yorkshire – DrillOrDrop
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) Permits
The E.A. Permits regulate the site operator (Rathlin Energy) 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. They cover the disposal of potentially radioactive waste water, but does not say to which licensed facility it would go.
The E.A. now maintain an information page for the site, that helpfully includes an overview and list of documents, including Permits and reports:
Regulation of Rathlin Energy’s West Newton ‘B’ Well Site – Environment Agency
CAR = Compliance and Assessment Report, e.g. a site vist report.
Some documents are also listed here for reference:
EA Permit DB3503HL – Mining Waste Operation and Water Discharge Activity
EA Permit Decision_Document
EA SR Permit EPR EB3301MB – to operate an installation described in Standard rules SR2015 No 2
The original permit application was made in 2015:
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:
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 plans for dozens of wells and at least 4 wellsites. It is a lot harder to stop this industry once established. So… how many more?
Some example objection letters (from 2015) 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.