Application for more national park drills

FURTHER drilling could be taking place in the North York Moors National Park as a top oil and gas exploration company seeks permission to dig a temporary borehole.

Egdon Resources is submitting an application to drill a borehole near the village of Westerdale.

The firm will also be asking The National Park Authority to approve the building of an access road to the site, on land south of Broad Gate Farm.

If permission is granted, the exploratory borehole will be the second that Egdon has drilled in the area.

The first, in 2006, did not find commercial quantities of gas and the site has since been restored to farmland.

If commercially-viable quantities of gas are found, planning permission will be sought so it can be exploited.

Mark Abbott, Egdon’s managing director, said the company planned to hold a public exhibition in Westerdale Village Hall on March 16 to give local residents the chance to view and discuss the plans with the Egdon team.

He said: “We definitely want to get feedback from residents and other stakeholders before we submit the planning application.

The company expects the exploratory drilling operation to last for no more than six weeks, after which the rig and associated equipment will be dismantled.

However, the concrete base will remain while the results of the drilling are analysed.

The move comes amid a series of temporary boreholes being drilled in the national park at part of plans to build a potash mine in the area.

Sirius minerals is conducting the investigations in the hope of finding a location for a minehead between Scarborough and Whitby.