Regulation

Egdon seeks changes to North Kelsey drilling plans

North Kelsey Egdon Resources 1

Location of North Kelsey oil site. Photo: Egdon Resources

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.

The company said the changes, to six conditions of the planning permission renewed a year ago (DrillOrDrop report), have been made following drilling nearly 20 miles away at Biscathorpe, near Louth.

Noise

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”.

Working hours

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.

190103 biscathorpe jane rushby

Protest outside Biscathorpe oil site, 3 January 2019. Photo: Jane Rushby

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.

Security

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”

Surfacing

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.

Surface water

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.

Opposition

Opponents of Egdon’s proposals for North Kelsey have already begun to send objections to the changes.

10 replies »

  1. This is what they do. Get planning permission and then seek to change it by weakening the original conditions. Councils need to wake up and wise up.

  2. Planning Conditions were set for a specific reason. They were only agreed to less than a year ago. Why did they not plan for a security cabin? They seem obsessed with very high security fences. Once again, why did they not plan for this? I can’t recall anyone wanting to break in to a drill site. The selection of a watertight membrane would surely have been high on the agenda – why did they not get this right?
    If the noise levels were too low, why did they not raise this at the planning stage? We know they answer to most of these questions – Egdon agree to the lowest levels of light, noise and disturbance, in the full knowledge that they would later apply to have it changed. Conditions were imposed because the Planners did not agree to higher levels of disturbance.

    These amendments will now be considered by a “desk jockey” and not the full Planning system.

  3. Mission creep at its best , typical of an industry that cant work under the conditions that they agree to , disgusting.

    • Jono
      Yes, I prefer they pop the run off into the ditch. Cuadrilla had trouble tankering off rain water, although that was in the rainy west. More traffic to and from the site.

  4. Seems just the same as most planning applications. Variation applications are very common. For those that are unaware of that they are in UK and very remote from reality, or not in UK and unaware of the UK planning process.

    Heaven knows what would have happened if they were wanting a cat flap added within the security fence.

  5. From the BBC this morning:

    “UK goes coal power free for a week

    The UK has gone a full week without using electricity generated from coal, the system operator has reported.

    That’s the first time since coal was first used for making electricity in the 19th century.

    “As more and more renewables come on to our energy system, coal-free runs like this are going to be a regular occurrence,” said National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) director Fintan Slye.

    “We believe that by 2025 we will be able to fully operate Great Britain’s electricity system with zero carbon,” he said.

    Last year renewable power sources accounted for 27.5% of UK electricity generation.”

    Fintan Slye makes an interesting claim which is at odds with all the forecasts including National Grid’s. I look forward to seeing how they will replace natural gas in our electricity generation by 2025 (and keep the lights on etc etc). It is physically impossible to build enough wind / solar in 6 years. But Fintan clearly knows something no one else does…..

  6. Objectors had pointed out that the Bentomat liner as Egdon were planning to install it wouldn’t be fit for purpose. It’ll be cold comfort to them that Egdon have finally read the manufacturer’s guidelines.

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