ERYC Approve West Newton Fracking Application

This afternoon ERYC approved the Planning Application for fracking at West Newton, High Fosham by 6 votes to 5.

Chair – Councillor Phyllis Pollard

The Only Councillor Speaking

I was the only ERYC Councillor who addressed the Planning Committee. My presentation:

  • Members, make no mistake this application is for fracking.
  • It was reported in the Guardian on Monday 29 October in relation to the fracking site near Blackpool: “A total of 27 earthquakes have occurred near energy company Cuadrilla’s site since fracking started a fortnight ago”.
  • On the West Newton site during the tests between March 2013 and November 2014 the site breached at least 14 conditions of its environmental permit.
  • In 2015 the temporary planning permission for West Newton A expired, and Rathlin applied for a Variation of Condition, for another 36 months.  This was, “APPROVED … subject to the conditions:” I quote from the Notice of Decision by East Riding of Yorkshire Council:
  • “ At the end of the 36 month period all drilling and test activities shall have ceased and all equipment, access, structures and buildings shall have been removed from the site, the borehole shall have been plugged and abandoned, the bunding and perimeter fences and ditches removed, the site levels re-graded and the site shall have been restored to agriculture … This condition is imposed because this is a temporary permission …At the end of the period the site needs to have been restored to its former use in the interests of protecting the visual amenities of the area.”
  • I quote from the minutes of this Council of the meeting held 10 October 2018 that it resolved: “ That this Council, in response to a recent Ministerial Statement which proposes to redefine fracking activities as permitted development, thus removing any Local Authority control and community involvement in the decision-making process, writes to the relevant Government Ministers, and its MPs, setting out its objection to this proposal emphasising that Local Authorities are best-placed to continue to make decisions, throughout the planning process, for shale gas exploration drilling and appraisal and that this Government proposal contradicts the principles of localism.”
  • This committee must not impose earthquakes on East Riding residents. It must accept that Rathlin have breached at least 14 conditions of its environmental permit. The condition to return the site to its former use in the interests of the East Riding environment and residents must be imposed. Finally this committee must today prove that this Council is best placed to make decisions regards fracking as per the planning process as resolved on 10 October 2018.

None of the three Conservative Ward Councillors for Mid Holderness spoke in support of their residents.

Councillors Voting

  • Phyllis Pollard – Conservative – Beverley Rural – Chair – For
  • Mike Stathers – Conservative – Wolds Weighton – For
  • Charles Bayram – Conservative – Howden – For
  • Tony Galbraith – Conservative – Dale – For
  • Bryan Pearson – Conservative – St Mary’s – For
  • David Rudd – Conservative – Wolds Weighton – For
  • Mally Boatman – Labour – Goole South – Against
  • John Whittle – Independent – North Holderness – Against
  • Phil Davison – Liberal Democrat – Against
  • Margaret Chadwick – Conservative – Bridlington South – Against
  • Kay West – Conservative – Pocklington Provincial – Against
  • Barbara Hall – Conservative – Driffield and Rural – Abstain

I heard discussion suggesting that the vote was pre arranged.

All I can comment on this is that the vote was what the Conservatives desired, they had a pre meeting and the two who voted against failed to state why.

Meeting Delayed

As all meetings must start at the time stated why was the start of this meeting delayed from 14.00 to 14.07 to allow those from Rathlin to arrive?

My Apologies

I would like to apologise to Councillor Margaret Chadwick for incorrectly stating she had voted for when in fact had voted against. This is now corrected.

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