Local residents at Ballinlea, Co. Antrim are encouraged by the hundreds of letters and emails being sent to the Strategic Planning Division of the DOE, objecting to the planning application submitted by Rathlin Energy Ltd to drill an exploratory well. Despite being the traditional holiday period, many people took the time to become aware of the risks associated with the proposed well and made their views known.
The company has been asked to provide more detail to the Strategic Planning Division by 9th August, on exactly what their operational plans are for the site, what chemicals they plan to use, what material would be leaving the site and where it would go, and how they plan to restore the site. Any extra information provided by the company will be shared on the public access planning website, and it is possible that the application will be advertised again for further public comment. (We will keep you informed!)
You can continue to lodge your objections right up until a determination is made on the planning application. At this stage, consider 9th August a deadline until we know more.
Please take some time to read the new objection letters loaded onto the post: Object to the Rathlin Energy planning application. The Friends of the Earth one is particularly interesting…e.g.:
“For the benefit of the public and the Department, the applicant should be required to set out exactly how, according to the EIA Regulations 2012, an EIA is not required, when they have subsequently felt the need to provide supporting environmental information. The Department should also make clear whether it considers this accompanying environmental information to represent the submission of a voluntary environmental statement as the additional information requested in your letter dated 18 July 2013 fails to mention the EIA Regulations despite the fact that much of the detail required is very clearly environmental information normally required as part of the EIA process. We are asking for a written answer to this specific point.”