RESIDENTS against oil drilling on the Isle of Wight are launching a campaign this weekend to get more people involved in the consultation of the planning application.

Currently, planning permission is being sought by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) to construct exploratory boreholes in Arreton, for a period of three years, to see if the production of hydrocarbons would be viable in the future.

However, a new campaign group Don't Drill the Wight (DDTW) has been formed to oppose oil drilling on the Island, with objections including increased heavy traffic, the loss of wildlife habitat, spillage risks of toxic materials, pollution and carbon emissions from the development of the site, which would be off the main road between Arreton and Newport, the A3056

A spokesperson for DDTW, said: "It is essential as many Islanders as possible voice their objections during this consultation period, which ends four weeks away on July 24.

"If oil and gas are found in commercial quantities we will be looking at the creeping industrialisation of the surrounding countryside and associated activities for the next 20 years or more.

“We must show the Isle of Wight Council through sheer numbers of objections that thousands of Islanders feel very strongly about the countryside and do not want UKOG to Drill the Wight."

The launch of the campaign will be held at Merstone Station on Saturday, June 27 at 11am.

The group has asked those who wish to attend respect social distancing rules, and arrive by bike, bus or on foot if possible - but say the event will be recorded and shared for those who cannot attend but wish to join.

For more information, visit its website:

Isle of Wight County Press:

UPDATE: Island Labour has said if they led the Isle of Wight Council they would turn the Island into an exporter of renewable energy, with no place for oil drilling or fracking, following in the footsteps of Southampton's City Council.

Island Labour's Chair, Julian Critchley, said: "The Island is blessed with excellent conditions to become a renewable energy powerhouse.

"We have one of the sunniest climates in the UK, we are surrounded by waters with large tidal ranges, and both onshore and offshore wind power is an as-yet untapped resource.

"A Labour-led council would set up a local energy company, as Southampton did.

"Initially, this would focus on reducing bills for residents. But in the longer term, we would be looking to reinvest returns from that company into renewable energy generation.

"The Island should be exporting clean energy to the rest of the UK, and Islanders can all benefit from that.

"The repeated attempts to drill for oil on the Island are ridiculous. Not only do Islanders not want it, but the world can't afford it. More to the point, with the renewable options we have which are currently untapped, it's completely unnecessary."