THIS WEEK IN 1980: Pleas were made to end the oil drilling

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Hampshire planning chiefs appealed to the Department of Energy to restrict further oil drilling in the Channel, to sites well away from the coastline.

They had joined other local authorities in Dorset and the Isle of Wight to press for greater consideration of environmental and pollution problems in oil exploration.

In a letter from the council’s Joint Standing Conference on English Channel Oil and Gas, the Energy Department is urged to concentrate licenses for drilling in mid-channel sites to avoid unnecessary damage to the southern coastline.

‘The channel coast is of unusual environmental sensitivity. There are large populations and an important seaside holiday trade at many places along the coastline of Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, while rural coastline is of exceptional beauty and importance,’ the letter said.