A request by Egdon Resources for more time at its exploration site at North Kelsey has again been backed by council officials.
The site near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire has had planning permission since 2014. But so far, the only work carried out has been at the entrance and on a layby in the lane nearby.
This is the second time Egdon has sought an extension for North Kelsey. A previous extension of three years, runs out on 31 December 2020.
The company told Lincolnshire County Council it had planned to build the well compound before summer 2020 and blamed the coronavirus outbreak for failing to meet its planning deadline.
A report by planning officers said:
“A further extension of time would enable the development that has already been deemed acceptable in all other respects to be completed.”
It said Covid-19 legislation would have allowed the planning permission to continue automatically until 1 May 2021.
The report concluded:
“it is considered that the application is line with Government legislation to provide developers more time to implement planning permissions due to the delays caused by Covid-19.”
The council’s executive director for place, Andy Gutherson, said:
“I am satisfied that any extension of time and continuation of the development for a longer temporary period would not cause greater impacts than those already considered acceptable.”
Officials have also recommended the same time extension for a security compound at North Kelsey.
Concerns about about lack of progress
There has been speculation locally about Egdon’s plans for the North Kelsey because of the lack of progress on the site.
There were objections to the extension from 114 residents, as well as North Kelsey and Grasby parish councils and Holton le Moor Parish Meeting.
Their reasons included the impact of the site on climate change, residential amenity and the environment. They also criticised Egdon’s previous track record and said the description of the North Kelsey application, which referred only to restoration, was misleading.
West Lindsey District Council’s planning committee was “not convinced of the justification” for a further extension of the time limit.
- The application is due to be decided at a virtual meeting of Lincolnshire County Council’s planning committee, at 10.30am on Monday 7 September 2020.