Friday, July 10, 2009

Gas exploration work in Howdenshire

Scottish energy company Composite Energy has commenced drilling exploratory 900m deep boreholes near Howdenshire villages, in the hope of discovering untapped underground gas fields of Coal Bed Methane (CMB). The fist site south of Newport received planning consent from the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, drilling commenced and has been completed. Two subsequent applications for sites at Oxmardyke Grange in Blacktoft, and Marr Grange Farm Gilberdyke have struggled through the planning process, with the latter being refused due to unresolved access issues.

The company use a pioneering method of drilling, it is hoped they are successful and that a large and reliable gas field is found, as this would bring a tremendous boost to the local economy. It would also help to reduce the imports of gas from foreign lands, some of which are controlled by unstable and unpredictable governments.

I asked for the planning consent for the site at Oxmardyke Grange Blacktoft to be deferred until the company agreed to a survey of Tongue Lane, (Faxfleet Lane) and Oxmardyke Lane before work started, and a similar survey on cessation of the drilling and site restoration, and for them to make good any damage caused. The company agreed to this and planning consent has now been granted.

The Planning Committee also supported my proposal that the Marr Grange, Gilberdyke site be refused on the grounds of the access along Marr Lane, a very narrow road with a history of subsiding into the dyke alongside, and repeated damage to the water main in the roadside verge. It was determined that the road was unable to cater for several hundred 32 or 34 tonne lorry movements. The Market Weighton Internal Drainage Board and Gilberdyke Parish Council had highlighted this, and the committee agreed the risk was unacceptable.

It is hoped that the company will now go back to the landowner and negotiate a more direct and shorter route from Tongue Lane to the proposed site. Ironically this would mean any temporary road from a highway to the drilling site would likely be much shorter than originally proposed from Marr Lane.

For more information on Composite Energy please click:

1 comment:

John Jessop said...

IF gas is found in workable amounts there COULD be a distinct gain for the local economy but we must beware that it isn't simply a series of unattended well head units quietly pumping gas into a grid serving far away areas and all we as a community get is an extended period of disruption and mess. I recall some years ago seeing a number of oil well units in South Humberside which had no benefit whatsoever to the local economy.
If the exploration company is willing to pay for a new permanent road access to the sites it could become a start of a much needed alternative entrance route to the present Gilberdyke Industrial Estate. In this way with a continution of this starter route we can finally get the heavy goods vehicles out of the centre of the village and make the road past the school safer for the residents and our children.