In the past few minutes, councillors in Lincolnshire have refused planning permission to Egdon Resources for 15 years of oil production at its Wressle site near Scunthorpe.
North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee voted by 6 to 3 against the application, with one abstention, despite the recommendation of officials to approve.
The committee said the officer’s report did not have enough information to allay concerns about risks to the local environment and economy and threats of water contamination.
They repeatedly said they had no confidence in the Environment Agency to monitor and regulate the site.
The vote was greeted by cheers from spectators in a neighbouring room.
Egdon’s plans include options for proppant squeeze and acidisation, techniques to inject a slurry of sand and gelled water or dilute hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid into the well. The company has said production would not, now or in the future, involve high volume hydraulic fracturing.
It argued that the proposed operations were “conventional”. Opponents said proppant squeeze and acidisation had not been properly tested and effective monitoring was not possible. Frack Free Lincolnshire said:
“Public debate has been stifled from the start by refusing to acknowledge that the Wressle Well proposal is indeed an unusual form of fracking.”
Councillors arriving for the meeting, at the civic centre in Scunthorpe were greeted by a small demonstration of people opposed to the application.
There had been more than 200 objections to the application, including one from British Steel, which was concerned about its water boreholes nearby, another from Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Town councils at nearby Broughton and Brigg supported the application. The Environment Agency and Natural England did not object.