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 »

    • Dear me the Paunch and Judith show sock puppet sneer smear script writers are working overtime today aren’t they?

      But we know the truth dont we boys and girls?

      Oh yes we do!

      Good i am glad we are having this pathetic little sneering insinuation out once and for all martin, its been going on for far too long, lets dispel yet another favourite martin smear shall we?

      You are far too fond of making these pathetic little remarks and usually i will just pass it by, since its so transparently obvious that it is a weak ploy.

      But It is always interesting however that the accusations that the anti antis are guilty of yourselves with multiple id clones and many people posting under the same name, we can see that all too clearly in the anti anti ranks. IDs come and go only to be replaced with a “new” one

      That has been obvious for many years, unfortunately for the anti antis they are not very good at it and fail to emulate the equivalent cadence, tone and rhythm and even the spelling and phraseology of the one they are trying to emulate.

      The strategy, it is all strategy from the anti antis, is to try to desperately tar their own little habits and make their own dismal little insinuations onto others.

      Its classic cover up diversion tactics, just to deflect the attention from dangerous subjects and to score attempted political points, without proof nor evidence just little smear fear slurs.

      How many of those have we seen in the last few years, and it seems that Claire Perry is just as culpable in that direction too?

      I am nothing to do with anyone else on this blog, and never have been, nasty anti anti fear sneer smears or otherwise, i have always posted as myself unlike few of your “esteemed colleagues”.

      That, unusually for the usual standard of anti anti remarks on Drill Or Drop, is the truth, like it or lump it.

      I think that the purpose of this strategy, particularly from martins little efforts here, is to prevent any of us speaking up to congratulate or support another poster. That is what this is really all about, but they do that often enough themselves, so as usual it attempts to create one rule for them and another for anyone else, are we going to allow that?

      No, of course not.

      They are playing the usual divide and conquer game, dont let them intimidate you from supporting one another, support each other at every opportunity and wipe the verbal floor with the anti antis, that is clearly what they fear most, a concerted opposition supporting each other. Hence this little debacle.

      Dont be intimidated into isolation, the anti antis would love that.

      There martin, the truth will out, someone just has to be brave enough to say so, clear enough now? Or will it be more sneery remarks to save face and preserve the illusions? Another of these little comfort blanket myths in the anti anti waste bin of irrelevant nonsense, any more while we are at it?

      Can we move on now?

  1. East Riding Pension Fund
    North Lincolnshire

    Total Fracking investments £210,374,819

    Says it all really. Happy to invest in foreign operations just not near them…

    Hypocrisy in Local Council…

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