Egdon to appeal after third bid for oil production at Wressle refused

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Opponents of Egdon’s application to produce oil at Wressle near Scunthorpe. Photo: DrillOrDrop

For the third time in under two years, councillors have thrown out plans for long-term oil production at the Wressle site near Scunthorpe. 

DrillOrDrop live updates from the meeting

Members of North Lincolnshire’s planning committee again ignored the advice of planning officers and unanimously refused permission.

Egdon’s managing director, Mark Abbott, who made a presentation to the meeting, refused to comment after the decision.

But in a short statement, he said:

“The decision of the Committee, whilst not entirely unexpected, is nonetheless disappointing given that the application had been recommended for approval by North Lincolnshire Council’s own professional planning officer who had the benefit of a positive assessment by specialist independent technical consultants.

“We agree with the conclusion of the planning officer and the independent consultants and strongly believe the new application for the development of the Wressle oil field fully and comprehensively addresses the reasons for the refusal of the original planning applications and the subsequent appeals and therefore intend to appeal this decision without delay.

“We will begin preparing the appeal documentation on receipt of the Committee’s decision notice.”

Shares in Egdon closed the day down nearly 23%.

Opponents of the scheme were jubilant. Several in tears, they congratulated councillors for listening to their concerns about the scheme.

The Conservative-led planning committee had refused previous applications for oil production at Wressle in January 2017 and July 2017. Those refusals were upheld by an inspector at a public inquiry a year ago. The committee also refused permission in August 2018 for an extension of the duration of the consent.

At today’s meeting, Egdon said it had addressed the concerns raised by the inspector about the risk of pollution to groundwater. It said it proposed to redesign the site, add a new liner and had produced new or revised technical documents.

The company said it wanted to produce oil from the site for 15 years, using a range of techniques to stimulate the well. They could have included an acid proppant squeeze, which would have involved injecting hydrofluoric acid under pressure into the rock formation.

Mr Abbott told councillors this was not acid fracking. But opponents drew attention to the environmental permit, which described the operation as “hydraulic fracturing for conventional oil using hydrofluoric acid squeeze”.

After the decision, the local county councillor for Wressle, Holly Mumby-Croft, said:

“I am delighted with the planning committee decision. It was very difficult to see what people were thinking. I think the opponents spoke very eloquently. It is absolutely the right decision.”

Mel Dale, who spoke against the scheme at the meeting, said:

“This is excellent news. We are delighted again that North Lincolnshire Council has been steadfast in their refusal of this project for fossil fuel extraction in the area.”

Another speaker against the scheme, Julie Field, said:

“We are over the moon. Thank you North Lincolnshire Council for seeing this for what it is.”

Opponent Elizabeth Williams, who has spoken all the Wressle applications, told councillors

“We are all worn ragged by this development.”

In tears after the decision, she said:

“Ordinary people are being listened to. The councillors are also doing their own research.

“The era of fossil fuels is over. I would respectfully say to Egdon Resources it is time to divest.”

The planning officer and Egdon Resources had said there were no planning grounds to refuse the application. But councillors lined up to express their concerns about the scheme and the vote was unanimously against.

Conservative David Wells said the risks were not within a tolerance that he could support. Labour’s Mick Grant, said the councillors were not against Egdon or the onshore oil and gas industry. “It’s the way you are going about it”, he said.

The mayor of North Lincolnshire, Cllr John Briggs, said “We cannot ignore the risks involved” and the committee’s vice chair, Cllr John Evison, said: “I can’t really see a lot of benefits to the community”. Cllr Sandra Bainbridge said the committee had a responsibility to listen to local people and act on their behalf.

One speaker at today’s meeting, Jean Turner, said the council’s enforcement officers should now require Egdon to clear the site.

“The inquiry inspector gave the company until April 2018 to restore the site. It has been in breach of that requirement for more than six months. It makes a mockery of the inquiry if the inspector’s conditions are not enforced.”

Reporting on this decision has been made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers

52 replies »

  1. Cllr Mick Grant is far too disrespectful with his comments. Saying ‘Shame on You’ ‘It’s their pension fund’ etc. Bang out of order. Should make a formal apology to Egdon.

    • Ohhh look Martin another company in breach of conditions for not undertaking remediation works within timescales.

    • Jono – there’s something slightly difficult about hearing the word no from people who haven’t got a clue about a subject. I’d doubt if you’d like plebiscites if they were about capital punishment, immigration etc etc

  2. No, crembrule, because their renewed Planning Application trumped that, as will their Appeal. Do keep up. It isn’t too difficult. It’s how most housing developments work through-eventually.

    Jean may not understand that, but interesting how you follow. You must be an advertising agency dream!

    • It would have done if it was granted but as it stands they are still in breach of a HMPI’svconditions. And so it continues affecting locals on and on as yet another O&G company stretch the boundaries of what is reasonable behaviour.

      • ‘Responsible behaviour’ – by which you mean trying to reduce our balance of payments deficit in a totaly safe way

          • Crembulle- nit picking about irrelevancies. Why don’t you get the bee out of your bonnet about fracking and do something constructive about the environment instead? I know it’s hard work but at least it might have impact

            • You consider complying with the rule of law to be nit picking Judith?

              Does that apply to all legal situations or just ones that O&G companies choose not to comply with?

            • Crembulle- let’s face it – if our prosecution device and judiciary was into nit-picking as much as the “protectors” our jails would be full. [edited by moderator]

            • WTF is s prosecution device Judith?

              And additionally are you unable to answer a straight question? Actually don’t bother answering because it will no doubt bd completely unrelated to the question.

          • The problem is Egdon have bent over backwards to appease the Council…
            The Council ignore their professional planning Officer and Guidelines given to them…

            • By bend over backwards do you mean make repeated inadequate planning applications and fail to meet the conditions placed on them by Her Majesty,s Planning Inspector., that kind of bending over backwards?

  3. What is being stretched crembrule? The site remains as is-basically mothballed. Not stretching boundaries, just going through the same process many other businesses go through. There was a housing estate also discussed at this meeting. Same sort of process. Loads of land being held by all sorts of businesses whilst the process winds on.

    There is a defined system, not UDI. Both parties can use that defined system. Claiming this is unusual to create a sense of grievance within a minority simply demonstrates a lack of reality to the majority, but it will not change what is defined within the system.

    How much will imported oil cost if Sterling crashes, as forecast by the BOE today? Oops.


    “Mark Lynch, the team leader of SLDC’s development control department, said the “quality” of decisions relating to major applications is “significantly lower” than it should be.

    “The consequences of this trend could be very serious in terms of SLDC retaining its powers to determine future major development proposals,” he wrote.

    “These powers could be removed from the council and be placed under the control of the Planning Inspectorate.”

    Not oil and gas but the writing is on the wall…..

  5. Another year wasted for Egdon. Any appeal will probably be in about 12 months. Attrition will be their likely demise. Chucking money at something will not necessarily make it better.

  6. I just find it so depressing that at a time when we are looking at the possibility of a 5% or so drop in our standard of living post Brexit we are not taking every opportunity to exploit what resources we might have. Home produced oil could be one of the lowest carbon sources of petrol available. We’re going to need it for years to come, surely everyone realises that.

    • Brexit and onshore O&G in the UK are two cheeks of the same @rse. Self harming on a national scale, both promoted by those who lack any foresight or compassion for other people’s communities.

  7. But both are the reality we face crembrule. Whilst some may find it comforting to live a Wonderland type existence, the rest of us recognise we live in the real world.

    Brexit is another issue decided by the majority, with a few Establishment figures and their supporters (knowing or unknowing), upset about the majority view. How does it feel crembrule being part of the Establishment? Comfy in the swamp?

      • How doth the little gasophile
        Improve his growing tale,
        And draw the waters of the Nile
        To waste it on the shale!

        How cheerfully he seems to grin,
        How neatly spreads his claws,
        And welcomes mug investors in,
        With gently smiling jaws!

            • What you do not appreciate is rather more subtle kish. Sorry, i realise that is lost on you, but i will try and explain it to you.

              The mirror reflection effect i refer to is not to do with how they are made, or indeed your failure to understand that the reflecting element is not glass, but that it has to do with the plagiarised accusations you make that are reflected back to you in the mirror and therefore reflect your own state that you accuse others of in yourself, rather than your intended insultee.

              The point was not how they are made, though that was the prior failure you displayed, but what mirrors do.

              You still do not appreciate that mirrors are the reflecting element, not the glass. Mirrors reflect the state of the accuser, not the accusee.

              if you do not accuse others, there is no need to remind you that what you say reflects your own state, not that of the person you attempt to insult.

              Clearer now? Or should i draw diagrams?

  8. There we are again, Kisheny-the imaginary friend methodology.

    Overplayed before and exposed. Really sophisticated. LOL

    My son had one called Barrack. He disappeared once my son started school and made some more friends.

    • You are the expert on the imaginary friend defence Martin. The people you claim to know for just about any situation is highly amusing.

      If your anecdote about your son is anything to go by we should be calling you Billy rather than Martin

    • Whoops! someone is touchy this morning? Things not going well for the invasion barges today are they?

      The Paunch and Judith show must be running on empty again to be so flustered? Not enough green bottles perhaps?

      Imaginary invisible “relations” intended to infer some vague accusation of false congruity?

      But of course we know the Paunch and Judy show sock puppets are just screeching some vague diversion away from the subject of the post, dont we boys and girls?

      Oh yes we do!

      Desperation wrapped up in irrelevance wrapped up in fantasy? No change there….

      Where is the truth boys and girls?

      Behiiiind Yoooou!! Oh Yes it Is! (oh no it isnt!) Oh Yes It Is! (oh no it isnt!) But we know boys and girls dont we?

      Always fun to see these squirming wriggling things at the bottom of the barrel isn’t it?

      Have a nice day martin… spite of everything…..

      • Phil C – not flustered at all. Idiotic councillors make a silly decision that will get overturned by a sensible government. No big deal

    • sher aka phil thinks having plastic panels shipped from China sitting on their roof gives them free limitless electricity that will meet all their needs?

      Currently Solar is supplying 2% of the UKs electricity, which inevitably will reduce to Zero at 16:35 hrs…

      • Ha! Ha! Still that mirror problem kish? You talk very loud but you do not think what you say?

        That you repeat false accusations is indicative of your own complicit behaviour Kish aka IR8 aka just about anyone ad infinitum!

        As usual hoist by your own sticky petard…..

        This is fun!

        New Balls Please!

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