Crawberry Hill Planning Application

Drill site at Crawberry Hill

Drill site at Crawberry Hill

Our sister organisation Frack Free East Yorkshire has asked our members to object to a planning application to stop Rathlin Energy getting a 2-year extension at its oil exploration site at Crawberry Hill, near Beverly. Rathlin want to complete a ‘mini-frack’, which if successful could lead to full-on fracking.

The Energy company Rathlin was granted Planning Permission for exploratory work at Crawberry Hill for 2 years, rather than the usual 3 years, due to the ‘high landscape value and visual amenities of the area’.

They have failed to complete their three tests, but the deadline for finishing the work and restoring the site runs out on 5th November 2014. They have therefore applied for another 2 years’ extension. If we can prevent this from happening, we can help stop the industry in its tracks.


Please email the planning officer, Peter Ashcroft, at: and write: Planning Application 14/02622/STVAR in the subject line.

Please make some or all of the following points in the objection (in your own words and in a different order if possible)

  • Rathlin have failed to comply with Condition 2 of the notice given to Rathlin at Crawberry Hill: ie that the temporary exploratory drilling should be completed within 24 months of commencement of work and the site returned to its original condition by 5th November 2014. As it has failed to comply with this key condition, they should not be allowed a renewal.
  • concerns about the water supply, as the well goes straight through the chalk aquifer that supplies water to much of East Yorkshire.
  • impact on local wildlife in the area (there is a Wildlife site only 100m from the well and it’s a known area for barn owls and kestrels, both of which are protected species). Point out that the initial ecology report by Rathlin energy was wholly inadequate and demand that the council insist on a full Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Problems of leaks and other irregularities at Rathin’s other site at West Newton, where a mini-frack went wrong and emergency Well Intervention Equipment was needed. This shows that Rathlin are not competent and should not be allowed to do another mini-frack.
  • the lack of independent inspection by regulators on the site.
  • Impact on local neighbourhood (traffic, light pollution, etc.)
  •  Rathlin’s breaches of conditions of the previous Planning Application, specifically:
    – ignored the traffic management plan between May and August 2014
    – ignored the lighting plan since the 1st August
    – only installed a site office and security fencing in August
    – failed to deal with water leaks from the site into neighbouring farmland
    – failed to provide the protective bund around the site which would have prevented leaks.
    – failed to install a stock fence around the site, which resulted in a number of hares drowning in a trough of water, due to lack of fresh water on the chalk highland
Dead hare at Crawberry Hill site

Dead hare at Crawberry Hill site

You can find further information about incidents and breaches of planning permission here.

You can also add that developing shale gas is incompatible with the government’s legal obligation to ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline. According to the National Planning Policy Framework 2012, the planning system “has a key role to play in helping shape places to secure radical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions“.

If you want to get into this further and read more about the background, please check out Frack Free East Yorkshire’s briefing before you start.

You can also find out more information and background on the situation and community blockade at Crawberry Hill.

Thanks for helping to stop fracking!