Egdon Resources has applied to increase noise limits and extend working hours at its exploratory oil site at North Kelsey in Lincolnshire.
In a letter to Lincolnshire County Council, the company said it was also seeking to increase delivery hours and add new security fencing, gates and cabins.
Alternative site surfacing and changes to the management of rainwater falling on the well pad were additionally proposed.
Egdon has submitted a separate planning application for a 0.07ha extension next to the northern boundary of the wellsite. This would be used for security and welfare facilities, a generator, and diesel and water tanks.
Egdon has described the noise limits for North Kelsey as:
“exceptionally low, unnecessary, complicated to enforce and unreasonable”.
The current planning conditions set a limit on drilling noise ranging from 28-40 decibels at night and 36-41 decibels during the day. Day-time construction noise is currently limited to 39-42 decibels.
The company now seeks to limit noise levels to 40 decibels at night and 41 during the day at all homes nearby. It said this would “adequately protect residential amenity”.
Campaigners protested against Egdon’s operations at Biscathorpe between late 2018 and early 2019. Egdon said similar protests were expected to happen during work at North Kelsey.
The company said it wanted to extend site operation hours and lorry deliveries for all operations to 7pm on weekdays. The current permission restricts work to 5.30pm during site construction, site preparation for production and restoration. Lorry deliveries are currently restricted to 5.30pm, during site construction, drilling and restoration.
This change would allow deliveries scheduled after 4.30pm to avoid breaching planning permission if they were delayed by protests, Egdon said. The change would also avoid lorries leaving the site at peak times in the early evening, it added.
The new application adds permission for:
- Mobile welfare unit for security staff
- Two lighting towers on the access track
- 5m security fencing around the whole of the site including the access track
- 5m high security gates at the entrance to the access track, at the site entrance and within the access track to create an “airlock”
Egdon has also replaced the previously proposed Bentomat geotextile clay liner with high-density polyethylene impermeable membrane. Both are designed to prevent any onsite spills reaching soil or groundwater.
The company said the high-density membrane had advantages over the clay liner and would be recycled more easily at the end of its life.
Egdon said surface water that fell on the site during drilling would be collected in a containment ditch. It has dropped plans to divert collected water into existing watercourses. Now all surface water will be removed by tanker.
Opponents of Egdon’s proposals for North Kelsey have already begun to send objections to the changes.
- DrillOrDrop will follow the application through the planning system.
- Key facts and timeline for the North Kelsey site