The planning committee of North Lincolnshire Council voted this afternoon against plans for oil production at Egdon Resource’s Wressle site near Scunthorpe.
Seven members of the 10-person committee voted against the scheme, despite the recommendation of planning officers to approve.
They said there was not enough information in the officers’ report to convince them that the application, which included acidisation and proppant squeeze techniques, would not have an impact on people and the environment.
The ward councillor Holly Mumby-Croft, who opposed the application first time round as a member of the committee, said:
“I have not heard anything today that makes me change my mind”.
The committee also refused permission by five votes to four, for the existing planning permission to be extended for a year. Councillors again defied the advice of officers to approve.
Egdon has already appealed against the council’s earlier refusal and the production scheme will now be considered at a public inquiry in the autumn.
Opponents of the scheme said they were surprised and delighted.
Elizabeth Williams, of Frack Free Lincolnshire, said
“Words fail me.
“I applaud North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee for standing up for a principle.”
“We are now bracing ourselves for the appeal”
Geraldine Clayton, another opponent of the scheme, said
“It is a blow for the unconventional oil and gas industry.
“So many other countries have rejected this and yet we keep having to fight these battles for justice for the environment.
“I take my hat off to the local councillors..
“The government and the industry assume we are a pushover. But people will stick to their principles.”
Ms Clayton said opponents of the scheme had sought answers from the Environment Agency about the current scheme and the use of acidisation and proppant squeeze – stated by Egdon – at the nearby Crosby Warren oil site. But she said the EA had not responded.
Chris Crean, Midlands campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said:
“This is a fantastic result for the democracy that exists within our planning system. The local councillors have listened to the views of their local community and have supported their views in taking this decision.”
Representatives of Egdon left the meeting without talking to reporters.
Mark Abbott, the company’s managing director, said in a statement on the website:
“We are very disappointed by the decision of the Committee that again goes against the positive recommendation of their Planning Officer which was determined after an extensive and thorough review of our proposals which included more detailed information to address the specific concerns outlined by North Lincolnshire Council in their refusal of the original application on 11 January 2017.
“Our business has been operating exploration and production sites in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner across the region for many years, engaging with communities, employing local people and investing in the local supply chain.
“We will now take forward our appeal against the original 11 January 2017 determination which is due to be heard in November 2017.”
Reporting from this meeting was made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers.