INEOS Response to press coverage of the National Trust Letter
Being forced to go to court is always a last resort. We would prefer to settle issues amicably as we have with the vast majority of the land owners that we deal with across Britain. We had written to the National Trust on various occasions since August 2016 regarding our request to access their land as part of a surveying programme we are currently undertaking in the East Midlands. Sadly until this moment they had refused all of our requests to meet with them, which ultimately led to our decision to pursue this through a court process. We are pleased to see that they are now finally willing to meet with us.
The work we have asked for the Trust’s consent to undertake in the park is merely for general surveying purposes, categorised by the UK’s Oil & Gas Authority as ‘non-intrusive’. It is important to state that our planned survey of the geology beneath Clumber Park represents no threat whatsoever to the landscape, the environment, its ecology or the unique buildings that are established within it, in the same way that historical seismic surveys carried out in the park caused no such damage. The data obtained from this survey within the park will ultimately be gifted to the nation.
The elected UK government sets energy policy, not the National Trust, so it has been disappointing that the Trust has, to date, politicised this issue and stopped us undertaking survey work across some parts of the licence areas awarded to INEOS by the Oil and Gas Authority. It is important to remember that compulsory rights of access exist in Acts that underpin other nationally important utilities, such as electricity, water and telecoms to ensure that a landowner cannot stand in the way of national interest or indeed the wider benefit of the local community.
As an investor in conservation projects across the globe, INEOS cares for the beauty and integrity of the unique landscape and countryside across Britain. If we thought that our surveying work would cause environmental damage to the park we would not be undertaking it.