Plans to expand an oil and gas drilling site in East Yorkshire rejected

Credit: Rathlin Energy

Plans to expand an oil and gas drilling site in East Yorkshire have been rejected after over a thousand people called for it to be scrapped. 

East Riding of Yorkshire's planning committee voted seven votes to five against the application put forward by Rathlin Energy at its site near West Newton.

Its application was the result of comprehensive technical and environmental studies.

On Wednesday, protesters briefly blocked the entrance to the oil and gas site.

Residents around the sire said they wanted to take a stand against proposals which they say would increase HGV traffic in the countryside and completely undermine the council's declaration of a climate emergency.

Campaigners briefly stood in the way of HGVs arriving and leaving the oil and gas drilling site on Wednesday.

The council’s planning committee voted by seven votes to five against the application. 

The decision comes six months after the council declared a climate emergency and a month before the start of the COP26 international climate conference in Glasgow.

Richard Howarth, from Fossil Free East Yorkshire, welcomes the outcome. He said he is 'relieved' their voices were heard.

''This was a terrible application, not just because of the overriding and blindingly obvious issue of climate change, but because it was incomplete, inadequate, and we believe breached local and national policies.''''Local communities campaigned hard for 7 years to prevent Holderness being industrialised into an oil field, and to save future generations from climate chaos, and at last they are being listened to."

Campaigners, who were at the site on Wednesday, welcomed the outcome.

Rathlin Energy wanted to increase the size of the site, test, appraise and produce from two existing wells and drill up to six new wells over a 25 year period.

Rathlin Energy says its plans are aligned with the UK's ambitions for net zero carbon emissions and has previously created a video to explain why the development is needed.

In a statement it said it was the result of 'comprehensive' technical and environmental studies and assessments undertaken by leading industry experts