Regulation

Biscathorpe oil petition tops 1,000 – Egdon submits more information on plans

More than one thousand people have signed a petition against oil production in the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Extract from petition opposing 15 years of production at Biscathorpe

Egdon Resources is seeking permission for 15 years of oil extraction from a new sidetrack well at its Biscathorpe site near Louth.

Opponents of the plan are calling on Lincolnshire County Council to refuse consent when the company’s application is considered, probably in the autumn.

The proposal counts as a major development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Under planning law, it should be refused permission unless there are exceptional circumstances and it is in the public interest.

Objectors have said it does not meet these tests. It would cause noise, light and air pollution and make it more difficult for the UK to meet its climate change goals, they have argued.

The authors of the petition, the campaign group, SOS Biscathorpe, said:

“This industrialisation of our countryside flies in the face of commitments to protect our environment and the future of younger generations.

“Development in AONBs should only be allowed in ‘exceptional circumstances’. If the Committee are to consider ‘exceptional circumstances’, then we urge them to consider the climate and ecological emergency.

“It is NOT sustainable development and we are calling on Lincolnshire County Council to refuse permission when it comes before their Planning Committee.”

New information

Egdon Resources has submitted extra details about the proposals, after a request from planners at Lincolnshire County Council. They asked for more information on the impact on the landscape and peace and tranquillity of the area and details to support the case that the development was in the public interest.

Economic and community impacts

The company had previously said the Biscathorpe wellsite could “make a contribution to helping maintain the UK’s security of energy supply”. It could help to reduce oil imports, Egdon said, as well as benefitting the local economy and meeting “the continuing need for oil”.

In the new information, it said:

“there are unlikely to be any significant adverse effects from long term production, including social effects upon local residents and visitors to the area and those relating to the special qualities of the AONB, to warrant a refusal of planning permission.

“We consider that there are exceptional circumstances to justify the proposed development in the AONB.”

Landscape

Egdon said its landscape assessment had concluded that during production the site would have a “negligible adverse effect” on the landscape character.

The effect on visual amenity would be neutral, the company said. The only exception was from the south where the effect would be “minor adverse”, it said.

Plans to improve biodiversity would “strengthen the extensive existing screening of the wellsite”, Egdon added.

Noise

In its extra information, Egdon said peace and tranquillity were ”not quantifiable”.

It calculated that noise during production would be below the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL). This was “a definite indication that no significant effects will arise and that no further mitigation is necessary”, the company said.

Lighting

Opponents have objected that the site would threaten the dark skies of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Egdon said the site would not be staffed at night during long-term production so no lighting would be needed.

It said the night-time lighting would be used only in bad weather, at times in winter, during emergency work or when an intruder alarm was activated. Light spill and glare during this phase would be negligible or have a “minor adverse” effect, the company said. Sky glow would be moderate or minor adverse, it added.

The company said it would plant fast-growing native trees and shrubs around three sides of the site to provide additional natural screening.

8 replies »

  1. I wonder if they used the same emailer software that they used at West Newton which failed miserably.

    • With Rathlin Energy submitting their planning application for the expansion of the West Newton A site today to East Riding Council, perhaps they can retry Jackie?

  2. So, industrialisation of the countryside is okay for wind turbines, that can be seen from miles away?? Yet, a discreet small well site is somehow different, where those that exist in that neck of the woods are not even known about by many who live there.

    Perhaps petitions that refer to the real substance rather than fiction just might get more traction.

    (I recall a certain Chris Bartlett quoted the following regarding another application:
    “On the consultation, the substance is considered from comments, not the numbers.”)

    Same tired failed approach.

    • Great point! The hypocrisy of the green movement… Go green, but also unmistakably scare the landscape.

      Are they aware the amount of surface mounted mining needed to make magnets needed in turbines.

    • You clearly don’t live in “that neck of the woods” so how would you know what people in the area know about or care about? Your statements are clearly based on sweeping generalisations about anyone who opposes oil&gas exploration.

      • That was a leap into the unknown, Alex, but as you don’t know how do you know what my statements are based on??

        You do not, so why pretend you do? Not sure that fabricating evidence like that would give many a reason to sign your petition. I am sure others may be able to understand how I might know.

        Chalk streams? How about the R.Test, Alex?

        Perhaps some research might help. No issue with oil being extracted next to that most famous of chalk stream/river, so perhaps find some aspect which is not already shown to be able to be done safely?

        I have often made clear that, in my opinion, people can object to what they like, in an appropriate way. When they do so utilising spurious reasons then I suggest they will receive the answer that spurious reasons produce. You do realise that matters such as this have professional advisors involved who will be aware of the sort of issues I have raised and will sift out the corn and the chaff? Plonking in a load more chaff does not make it corn, but it can irritate the sifters, which may not be a wise move.

  3. NO I will not say NO. Its a silly petition that could be signed by anyone from anywhere, Evidence of location of objectors should be required.

    • Yes it can be signed by “anyone from anywhere” which is entirely consistent with planning objections which can be made by “anyone from anywhere”. AONBs can be visited by “anyone from anywhere”, they are NATIONAL treasures and therefore valued by a great many people. In fact, many people who live & work in them rely on visitors for their living …..it’s called tourism. Rare habitats, such as chalk streams, need to be protected and thankfully lots of people can appreciate that without actually living in one. Lastly, if you look, you will see that the petition does collect the evidence you suggest. Perhaps on re-reading you’d like to sign after all?

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