I was delighted to read of the sane decision of the Isle of Wight Planning Committee to refuse the application to drill at Arreton.

The objections raised by Don’t Drill the Wight are based around good solid reasons mainly concerning the visual impact and the local environment.

However, there are many more implications that should be taken into account in the event UKOG raises an appeal.

I am a retired master mariner with many years of experience in the oil industry with in-depth knowledge of supply chain logistics.

I have listed below some of the issues that should be taken into consideration if an appeal is made.

For terms of reference I have used the document titled UKOG Community Engagement Arreton and Godshill Project Overview.

a) The document uses a broad-brush description of the benefits to the Island. The personnel involved will be highly skilled and of an obvious transient nature. It is difficult to envisage any local involvement other than occasional labour or catering duties, any of which will be very short term. In respect of benefits to local companies it is difficult to see what these might be other than transport related.

b) The document makes no mention of drilling mud, it’s importation to the Island, storage and ultimate disposal. No mention is made of the process of the cleaning, storage and ultimate disposal of cuttings or of any mention of the numerous specialist drilling fluids or powders such as barite or bentonite.

c) The HGV Movements Chart is misleading to say the least. The various phases related to cover a period of 86 weeks. The proposal does not make it clear how this will be implemented to avoid the tourist season. No mention has been made in respect of the increase that the extra number of HGVs may have on ferry capacity and the possible restrictions for bookings for tourists who wish to come to the Island and spend money locally. It is difficult to compare the 2.5 HGVs per day with the figures mentioned in The chart.

d) The proposed route is clearly laid out. However, those Islanders who already use part of this route will be well aware of the congestion at the Cedars turn off onto Station Road and especially the turn off at Arreton Barns. Vehicles while stationary generate twice the amount of emissions.

e) In the document, UKOG states the transport management plan to be approved by the Island’s transport authority states our operations will, via targeted procurement of local transport, hospitality and services, enhance off-season revenue and job opportunities. It It is difficult to understand the benefits to be gained when the site will probably only require about 20 persons on site whilet drilling. Any impact on the hospitality industry will surely be very small. It is usual for drilling operators to have their own camp sites.

The ultimate objection must be based around the prospect of commercial quantities of oil being discovered.

According to comments in the County Press there is between 12 to 49 million barrels of recoverable oil.

If these amounts should be recovered then the implications to the Island need to be considered.

How would such recovered oil be transported from the Island.? From a developers' perspective a pipeline would be the most effective way. We should try to visualise the impact of not only the construction of the pipeline but the process of laying the pipeline under the Solent. Any financial benefits to the Island would be limited and very short term.

The other alternative would be to transport the oil by road tanker.

49 million barrels converts to roughly 802 million litres. This in turn equates to over 200000 tanker trips.

What a catastrophe that would be for the Island.

The Island should also consider the impact that natural resource development has had on the sudden growth and ultimate decline of small towns and areas. We saw this from our time living and working in Australia.

We should not be encouraging the future use of fossil fuels. We are an Island community surrounded by sea. The huge amount of energy from the tides is our most underused natural resource.

Our efforts would be better used in supporting such enterprises as Perpetuus Tidal Energy proposals off Ventnor, that would bring massive environmental benefits to the world and new green jobs.

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