The Bishop of Grimsby, academics and business leaders have objected to plans for long-term oil production at Biscathorpe in the Lincolnshire Wolds.
In an open letter published today, 25 signatories from Lincoln Climate Commission have urged the county council to refuse planning permission for the site in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The application by Egdon Resources seeks to extract oil at Biscathorpe for 15 years. Local people have raised concerns about the impact of the proposal on a rare chalk stream, the landscape of the AONB and climate change.
Lincoln Climate Commission’s letter said:
“We respectfully ask that County Councillors consider the concerns of the local community, the serious issues of potential threat to biodiversity and amenity, and the over-riding concern due to the existential threat of climate change. We urge that you turn down the application.”
The signatories include: Dr David Court, the bishop of Grimsby; Edward Hanna, professor of climate science and meteorology at University of Lincoln; Geoff Stratford, founder member of Lincoln Climate Commission; local academics; and executives from companies such as Gusto Group, BE Design, OpenPlan and Greenlite Building Physics.
The letter said it was “hard to see” how allowing oil extraction in the AONB was consistent with the county council’s Green Masterplan. This was developed to meet the challenges of climate change and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The signatories said:
“as fast as possible, we must wean ourselves off dependence on fossil fuels.
“to explore for and to extract new sources of oil from Lincolnshire is utterly incompatible with keeping within the internationally agreed goal of limiting global overheating to 1.5 degrees.
“There is no shortage of fuel to supply our needs while we make the necessary rapid transition towards a zero carbon economy. We do not need fossil fuels from the rocks under Lincolnshire.”
The letter added:
“It is hard to see how ‘new oil’ is consistent with the government’s recent announcement to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035. Instead, we should invest our efforts and resources into renewables and into mitigating and adapting to the effects of warming.”
It urged Lincolnshire County Council to respect local concerns about the proposal, expressed by Donington-on-Bain parish council and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The Lincolnshire Wolds AONB partnership has also objected to the application.