Colter Appraisal Well - Feb 2019 Response

As I am sure you can imagine, I have received a vast amount of correspondence from local residents on this issue and I wish to assure you that I have taken all of these concerns on board.  Whilst the project is not taking place directly within the Bournemouth East constituency, I am extremely concerned of the potential ramifications this could have on our shore line and local area.

The main concerns constituents have raised is with regards to the disastrous impact that a spill could have on our marine environment, and the Natural Beauty of England’s only natural World Heritage site, the Jurassic Coast. I wish to reassure you that I share these feelings and concerns, and for that reason I will be opposing this project. 

I take very seriously the issues that are important to my constituents, and as a resident of Bournemouth East I feel exceptionally lucky that we have such beautiful spaces on our doorsteps. I will therefore be writing to my colleague The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to discuss any avenues I can take as your Member of Parliament to actively oppose this. 

During this process I have of course contacted Bournemouth Borough Council regarding their position.  They have assured me they are opposed to such a project, and have since provided me with their consultee response.  Their response included but was not limited too, the Impact of Fishing Vessels, Biodiversity, Water Quality, Tourism and Pollution. 

A response from Victoria Crossland, Environmental Manager for Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment & Decommissioning at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, provided a comprehensive update on the current stages of the process.  It highlights so far, the limitation of the project. All of which I intend to raise directly with the Secretary of State. 

The project fundamentally runs counter to Bournemouth’s strategic ambition to be a Green economy leader nationally. Which is an ambition I am extremely proud of and I intend to continue to pursue. Outlined in the attached Bournemouth Borough Council’s Consultee Response, Corallian have themselves acknowledged that in the event of an oil well blowout there is a 100% probability that a spill would land on the South Coast within 2.5 hours. 

I firmly believe in protecting both the UK's vibrant ecosystem and the natural environment worldwide. The Government is committed to being the UK's greenest economy ever, and has established a 25-Year Plan to Improve the Environment to help achieve this goal.  In light of this it would be extremely counter productive to our progress and current record to support the Poole Bay Colter Appraisal Well.