Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, has submitted formal objections to plans for oil drilling at Arreton.
The application, submitted by UK Oil and Gas Plc (UKOG), proposes the construction, operation and decommissioning of a well site at Arreton for the exploration and appraisal of hydrocarbon minerals – something Mr Seely says is unsuitable and which could jeopardise the Island’s biosphere status.
Mr Seely said the plans would have a negative impact on the environment, increase the Island’s carbon footprint and significantly increase traffic in the area. He also said the plans were visually intrusive and not in line with the commitment the Island made last year when it gained UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status.
He said: “It is important that we carefully consider any inward investment into the Island, particularly as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic and I recognise that the oil and gas industry is important to the UK, however, it is entirely inappropriate for the Isle of Wight.
“Our Island is 94% rural and 50% AONB, with 28 miles of Heritage Coast, and 395 local wildlife sites. Oil exploration here could threaten this.
“We worked hard to gain UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status last year and we should not jeopardise that. I therefore cannot support plans that could harm the Island’s conservational status. We must look to preserve our environment and keep it safe for future generations.
“The Island has a unique opportunity to pioneer tidal energy, recycle 100% of its own waste, develop a smart grid, and reduce the use of oil-based plastics. We must press on with ideas that make us greener and more sustainable.”