FRACK Free Isle of Wight has urged Islanders to object to oil-drilling plans at Arreton and Godshill.

The group held a meeting at the Castle Inn, Newport, last night (Tuesday), after UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) announced it was preparing a planning application to drill at the two sites.

UKOG is due to hold an open day at Newclose Cricket Ground on Monday, from 1pm to 8pm, to talk to Isle of Wight residents about the plans.

At last night's meeting, Frack Free Isle of Wight urged Islanders to attend armed with information and questions.

They offered to advise people on how to object to any future planning application, and discussed potential protest action.

Sylvia May, from the group, said: "They are going to tell us they won't be fracking, and technically they will be right. But you cannot release oil and gas without some kind of fracturing or dissolving. They will be digging wells to explore for oil, and that's what they will do once they find it."

"At the meeting on Monday, UKOG want people to trickle in so they can pick off criticisms here and there. That's why they have set such a long time frame."

Group member Steve Davis said: "This plan to drill will go through and they want it to go through under the radar.

"We have been pleading with the Isle of Wight Council for the better part of two years for them to develop a robust and fit for purpose waste and minerals plan, which puts provisions in place to protect the Island's environment from oil drilling, and they have not done it.

"A private, profit-driven company is gearing up to drill for oil in the heart of the Island's food production centre, and it's evident some of the risks and impacts will last far beyond the foreseeable future."