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: http://www.composite-energy.co.uk/