Regulation

Planners back third time extension at North Kelsey oil site – despite 1,000+ opponents

Council officials have supported plans for more time at an undeveloped well site in Lincolnshire, where the only work carried out since 2014 has been on the site entrance.

Egdon Resources’ North Kelsey undeveloped oil site in Lincolnshire. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

The operator, Egdon Resources, wants another year at North Kelsey, near the Lincolnshire Wolds, to construct a site and drill a well. It is also seeking permission to change the direction of the well from vertical to lateral.

This is the third time the council has recommended an extension of planning permission at the site.

A petition against the latest proposals received more than 1,000 signatures in the past two months. More than 120 people have submitted formal objections.

The schemes have also been opposed by parish and town councils representing South Kelsey and Moortown, North Kelsey, Holton le Moor, Grasby, Bigby and Caistor. West Lindsey District Council, the local district councillor and Caistor GO2 environment groups have objected.

Egdon Resources has blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for delays to work at North Kelsey. This reason was also given for the extension sought in 2020.

The first extension, sought in 2018, was needed because of low oil prices, the withdrawal of a partner and delays at another oil site, the company said.

In a report to councillors, officials said:

“the applicant has justified the delay to carrying out the operations in 2021 and demonstrated a reasonable expectation to be able to complete the proposed developments within a 12-month period without increased impacts on amenity on the local community, transport network and other landusers already addressed both separately and cumulatively. Consequently, it is recommended that the applications be granted permission.”

Opponents have said North Kelsey is unsuitable for oil exploration. It is on a single-track lane, on land used by wildlife including deer, owls, bats, lapwing and skylark.

Local people have objected because of the proposal’s impact on climate change, noise, air, water and light pollution, views, historic buildings and the local tourism industry.

They alleged planning creep, where the development has changed with each extension sought. There was a “high risk” of overrun, requiring further extensions, they said. Ecological assessments were likely to be out of date and there had been no heritage assessment with the application, opponents added.

At a meeting, which approved the second extension in September 2020, councillors said that “should be the final extension given by the council unless there were good reasons otherwise”.

West Lindsey District Council suggested that the latest plans for a lateral well were unachievable in the company’s proposed timescale and represented a new development.

Lincolnshire planners said Egdon had taken the new design into account in the timescale and the revised well did not go beyond previous planning permissions.

They recommended a total of 22 planning conditions, covering issues such as noise, lorry deliveries and protection for trees and hedges during the bird nesting season. A plan must be approved that would result in a 10% net gain in biodiversity.

  • The applications will be considered by Lincolnshire Council Council’s planning committee on Monday 14 March 2022, beginning at 10.30am in the council chamber, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL. Link to agenda

First recommendation to approve

Second recommendation to approve

6 replies »

  1. Sounds less sensitive in respect of wildlife than the site of Europe’s largest on shore oil field-that is in the UK and appears to have little adverse impact upon local wildlife. Indeed, local wildlife there seems to get more adverse impact from tourists, who regularly cause fires from using their disposable barbies, yet there seems to be great encouragement for people to spend time in the countryside.

    I even recall DoD reporting on a visit to a site in UK and poetic prose about buzzards and butterflies flitting about!

    Funny old world.

    • It is that MFC: everyone has come out of the wood work and stated their opinions on climate change, ( it wasn’t long ago most consumed energy without a care in the world, now everyone like the opportunity to be on the virtue-signalling eco-club, and those who spend their lives producing energy are seen as vandals, criminals, unworthy, uncaring and uneducated! Haha…
      Where were these eco-saviours over the last forty years, hiding under a rock, living in a mud hunt and hearing, cooking with manure?

      And for the other concerns: noise, air, water and light pollution, views, historic buildings and the local tourism industry.
      Welcome to living on an island of 60 million, people!!

  2. Does it matter how many people object if a person or private company wants to do something entirely legal?

    The tyranny of the imagined majority is a dangerous precedent to aspire to, because you will soon find out you’re not in the majority.

    The rule of law is an unwise thing to want to cast aside.

  3. Ribeye-it has been stated before at such times, by those who are in charge of the decision, that it is the substance of the objections that counts, not the numbers. So, in theory there could be one objection that points the decision in a direction, there could be thousands that are totally irrelevant. But, the comfort blanket is still needed.

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