Regulation

Egdon to appeal new Wressle refusals

wressle-site-plan-application-to-nlc

Egdon Resources announced today it would appeal against the decision by North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee to refuse for a second time planning consent for production at the Wressle oil field.

The committee voted against a revised application on 3 July 2017, arguing that it did not have enough information to make a decision (DrillOrDrop Breaking News and live updates from the planning meeting).

A previous meeting in January voted against an almost identical scheme for the same reason. Both applications had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Egdon also announced it would appeal against the committee’s separate decision to refuse permission to extend the existing planning consent for 12 months.

Managing director, Mark Abbott, said:

“We are compelled to bring forward appeals against both of the decisions of North Lincolnshire Council’s special Planning Committee meeting of 3 July 2017.

“Following a thorough and detailed consultation and evaluation, both applications were recommended for approval by the Council’s Head of Development Management and Building Control and had support from the key statutory and regulatory consultees.

“In addition the environmental permit for the proposed Wressle development has been issued by the Environment Agency since the original decision in January of this year.

“We now look forward to presenting our case at the forthcoming public inquiry.”

The company said notices advertising the intention to appeal would be displayed in local parishes and newspapers. An appeal would be submitted “without delay”.

Egdon said it would ask the Planning Inspectorate to add the new appeals to one already lodged against the council’s January refusal. That appeal had been scheduled to be heard in early November 2017.

15 replies »

  1. Ruth I’d correct the reason why the Councilors refused the application the 2nd time around. It wasn’t because they didn’t have enough information. I let you away with nearly all the anti agenda but this is pushing it.

    • Thanks for your comment GBK.

      Ruth points out the following quotes from the live reporting of the
      planning meeting

      Cllr Ivan Glover
      3.04pm

      Cllr Glover (left) recommends refusal. The reasons for refusal have not changed from the previous meeting, he says. [Previous reasons for refusal were not enough information].

      Cllr Mick Grant
      3.02pm

      Cllr Grant (right) says the application is much better this time. But he says there’s not enough information to be confident that this is the right thing to do.

      Cllr Holly Mumby-Croft
      2.59pm

      Cllr Mumby-Croft, who voted against the application at the previous meeting in January, says:

      “I have not heard anything today that makes me change my mind”

      In light of these quotes, it appears that the article does fairly report the reason for refusal.

  2. Local councillors simply are not equipped to deal with the background to these type of applications. They are laymen/women after all. These are technical issues and need technical people to deal with this. The planning people recommended approval so why are these elected numpties wasting valuable time and money. I can understand the frustration of the oil company.

    Being told that oil production is not acceptable, having driven to the meeting in fossil fuel powered cars doubtless?

    Its a bit like local people voting for what strategies heart surgeons should use to save people’s lives. Surely you would trust the doctors opinions? Not so when it comes to the dreaded fossil fuels…

    • It is the committee members who make the decision. They are chosen from cross parties to avoid political sway. They are given the opportunity to listen to what the officers have to say and make informed decisions.

      Again and again we see the planning officers unable to present information which is enough to convince eleven plus elected members of the public to agree with their findings.

      Jury members are laymen/women after all. A system we all agree with.

      It would appear we are seeing planning officers who simply can’t get it right.

      The Councillors seem more knowledgeable than the officers and with 11 plus to decide it is the correct system.

      • John it’s not that simple. Any other combination of councilors could have resulted in a different outcome as they base their decision on personal and political reasons rather than professional such as the employed planners.
        Mick Grant said he had ‘too much information’ and didn’t understand it. He is of course a Labour councilor

      • John, did you read the write up from the meeting? It is quite clear that the councillors were not the knowledgeable party here, when provided with the additional information they had requested, it only ‘clouded’ their minds. They do not understand the technical aspects of the application, most likely because they did not take the time to try and understand it – as they are only councillors. The whole point of the planning officer is that it is their job to understand these applications and their recommendation – as an expert – should be considered. It is clear that the councillors ignored it, not because they are more knowledgeable, but because they don’t understand the processes involved, or planning policy.

      • Not true John, at least not here. The Planning Committee is made up pro rata of Councillors by political party, so if one has a majority in the Council, so they also will on the Planning Committee.

      • And the Appeals show who gets it right. Have any of the refused applications which were recommended for approval by the Officer ever been refused on Appeal? I don’t know the answer but I very much doubt it. I expect you have the data to answer quickly?

    • It’s highlighted the problems we have with our planning system in this country once more. I’d love to know what percentage of development projects are now being won on appeal to central government.
      By all means I absolutely agree there should be some form of local voice and that is presently voiced through councilors however, very few people want development of any sort on their doorstep as it’s perceived it could upset the status quo. I’ve put up opposition to several housing developments recently but they are all now off to appeal. I do also understand the world population is growing and there will unfortunately be less and less green belt as a consequence.
      I think there should be a weighted system for planning. If the professional planners say a site should go ahead that should be worth a lot more respect by the system than it is currently given.
      It would also protect the councils money as they will occasionally face hefty costs at an appeal.

      • Planning officers should have less input.

        Some planning issues are black and white but many are in the grey area where it is a decision of how much ‘weight’ is given to a relevant point. That ‘weight’ should be decided by the committee members. Officers should only present relevant National and local planning policies as ‘weighting’ is an individual’s choice. The Government or other bodies may encourage the direction they feel the weight should be applied but that is not a recognised policy and is subject to numerous factors found associated with individual applications.

        The health of people carries the greatest ‘weight’ of all

        • The Councils should refuse all shale gas applications to protect their monies. If shale gas developed as Cuadrilla state then road repair bills would cost millions and Councils would be shelling out millions to care for people in their old age who have had value knocked off their house value and therefore go into social care quicker. At over £500 per week per person for care homes I wonder how many millions of pounds extra per year it would cost the Council?

          • We have proof that planners who are supposed to be at the ‘top of their game’ do not understand planning policy. The Roseacre site was offered for refusal by the officer.

            The Council agreed. Yet Cuadrilla appealed against this decision
            .
            You would think Cuadrilla’s planning team understood the NPPF and local policy.

            Obviously not.

            They lost at appeal.

    • Complete nonsense spouting again

      ‘because they don’t understand the processes involved, or planning policy’.

      ‘They are laymen/women after all’.

      ‘they base their decision on personal and political reasons rather than professional’

      The County councillor Conservative committee member who voted to refuse the PNR site and the Roseacre site, which Cuadrilla’s planning team lost at appeal.

      County Councillor Michael Green, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Planning.

      Councillors come from all walks of life to give a fair and balanced view.

  3. John used to make logical points. Wonder why this has changed?

    I have had the last nine days with my road being resurfaced. Why? Because a local landowner thought he could make some money from having builders sub soil dumped on his land. Around 500 fully loaded lorries over a period of a few weeks broke up the surface. The council were informed but they had no ability to stop it happening. Now it has happened the road is repaired at tax payers cost and life goes on. Repairs to the road outside the new local retired living units will be next, when they are finished, and then the new housing estate.

    In respect of planning it is quite easily remedied. If a planning officer recommends a project should go ahead and yet it is still turned down by the committee and it goes to appeal then it should be built in to the system that committee members are deselected after an appeal is lost against the council-or maybe to be extra generous, two strikes and out.

    Unless you do this you will get activists seeking to become councillors merely to forward their own agenda without sanction and no common ground of criteria for acceptance across the UK. Many think this would be great, but it wouldn’t. The legal community would pull it to pieces by simply showing a decision had been taken in one area that was disallowed in another. That is why the advice of the planning and/or legal officer’s should be followed. It is supposed to create a level playing field for all concerned.

    No need to worry about the road repair bills reference shale gas John. You have told us numerous times it will not be economic in UK-changing your opinion?This coincides with first delivery of US shale gas into the UK system. Interesting.

  4. Lets hope Egdon resources appeal is successful and they can carry on work at this site as its important for the economy .

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