A PETITION signed by over 4,400 people against oil drilling on the Isle of Wight was delivered this afternoon (Tuesday) to County Hall in Newport.

Susan Betts, on behalf of Blue Seas Protection marine conservation charity, handed over the papers to Cllr Paul Fuller and Cllr Jonathan Bacon, with a group of concerned members of the public in attendance.

The Isle of Wight Council Planning Committee is meeting next Tuesday to consider an application by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) to drill for oil in the centre of the Island, just outside of Arreton.

The meeting papers, released yesterday, indicated that Planning Officers are recommending conditional approval.

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The decision will be made by elected councillors on the Island and will take place only days before Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes global heads of state to the crucial COP26 United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, where he hopes to convince world leaders to take significant steps to tackle the climate crisis.

Susan Betts said: “The Isle of Wight cannot afford to have its freshwater drinking supply at risk of contamination by this proposed oil drilling.

“During the drilling process, high strength acids and chemicals will be forced into the rock to get to the oil below our aquifers.

“The council should reject UKOG’s planning application.

“Oil drilling would contribute to the destruction of the natural environment on the Isle of Wight, put our source of drinking water at risk, and would rapidly increase the impact of climate change.”

You can find out more information at the Don’t Drill The Wight website.

The Planning Committee meeting will take place at 4pm on Tuesday, October 19 at County Hall, Newport, and anyone is welcome to attend.