Poole Bay Offshore Rig Charts A Course To The Rocks?
A lot has changed since the approval of an on-shore oil well for Swanage in 2013.
Then, planning sailed quietly through virtually unchallenged / unnoticed leaving shell shocked local residents wondering why they had been let down so badly by their councils and custodians of the land.
We wouldn’t roll over and so started a three year campaign. Crowdfunding paid for independent environmental surveys, and we pulled on our collective experience and resources. Countless days were spent educating ourselves in oil industry techno-jargon, the dark art of planning processes and relevant laws regarding freedom of information and protection for endangered species.
Gradually our efforts started coming together, charities engaged with us as did more local people. Local business sponsored our efforts and campaigners came from around the country to help secure the site. Political party leaders came to visit, as did the television and radio reporters. By the end of the campaign we had a formidable group with many charities backing our efforts.
In November 2016, Infrastrata admitted defeat and declared they would be selling their exploration assets. Of course, we were pleased with the result, many thought it couldn’t be done, not after planning permission had been given. We knew it would be naive to think this was the end though……
Since then we have also fought back another onshore proposal at the same site, this time by Corallion.
More recently, Corallion has proposed an offshore oil exploration well close to Studland and Bournemouth Beaches. Offshore drilling escalates the stakes of a worst case scenario ‘well blow-out’ considerably. Once again we have rolled up our sleeves…… this project must go the way of the others – sunk!
Our letter detailed below is a request to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – Greg Clark. We are making a case for a protection zone that excludes offshore oil and gas exploration and production. This is pivotal to securing the sensitive local ecology and the local economy which is highly dependent on tourism. Our request has gained broad support from the business community, across political parties and a range of conservation charities. It adds weight to the responses that have been prepared by other organisations and individuals.
In such divisive and challenging times, it is heartening to know that simple folk are still capable of such effective community collaboration. Do we thank a common enemy, or have we been possessed by the spirits of the Dorset wreckers?!
See Our Letter to Greg Clarke Here:
It is going with the support of:
Dr Jane Goodall DBE – Founder Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
Chris Packham – Television and radio presenter, author and photographer
Miranda Krestovnikoff – Television and radio presenter, president of the RSPB
Kate Humble – Television presenter and narrator, ex-president of the RSPB
Ellie Harrison – Television presenter and journalist
Molly Scott Cato MEP – South West and Gibraltar
Clare Moody MEP – South West and Gibraltar
Sir Christopher Chope OBE MP – Christchurch
Cllr Simon Bull – Bournemouth Borough Council
Cllr Clare Sutton – Dorset County Council
Virgin Start Up
Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce
East Dorset Friends of The Earth
Bournemouth & Poole Greenpeace
The Seahorse Trust
Birds of Poole Harbour
Bournemouth National Science Society
Fossil Free Dorset
Bournemouth 2026 Trust
The Purbeck Society
How Can You Help?
Read the letter, get familiar with the facts
Spread The Word.