Proposals by IGas for a new hydrocarbon site in Lincolnshire have been backed by county council planners, despite local opposition and official concerns about road safety.
A report on the scheme, to be considered by councillors next week, recommends planning permission be granted – but subject to a legal agreement on lorry traffic and more than 20 other conditions.
IGas wants to construct the wellsite on farmland west of the small village Glentworth. It wants to drill one vertical well and up to seven horizontal development wells.
The proposed site would measure 4.4 ha, including a new access track, and operate for up to 21 years.
The company has said there would be up to 100 daily lorry movements during site construction and drilling phases, lasting nearly five years.
Residents said this could result in 16 vehicle movements per hour or one lorry every three minutes and 45 seconds on Kexby Road and Northlands Road. These are single track roads used for play by local children, they said. Residents called for an alternative traffic route.
The site would be linked by pipeline to the existing Glentworth site, where any oil would be treated before being moved off the site.
IGas estimates the new site could produce up to 2,500 barrels of fluids comprising oil and water per day. But the report says the individual amounts of oil and water are currently unknown.
Water would be injected back into the oil reservoir. Any gas would be burnt in a flare or electricity generator. Equipment at the existing Glentworth site would need to be updated to deal with increased production and water injection, the report said. More details here and here.
The local county councillor, Clio Perraton-Williams (Conservative), said residents strongly opposed the application.
Local roads were not in good enough condition to withstand the large number of heavy goods vehicles, she said. The increased traffic would have an impact on road safety, noise, pollution and the feel of a small, close-knit village, she added. The proposal would change village life for the foreseeable future, she said.
Glentworth Parish Council has also objected and asked the planning committee to visit the proposed to site to understand local concerns. As well as the impact on traffic, noise and pollution, the parish council said the scheme breached local planning policies and was contrary to government and local climate policies.
The county council’s highways department recommended refusal unless changes were made to a section of the proposed lorry route to the site.
It said there must be a legal agreement requiring new passing bays on Northlands and Kexby roads. The carriageway on Northlands Road should be reconstructed between the junction with Kexby Road and the site entrance.
Improvements were also needed to the site access and there should be a plan that would minimise heavy lorries meeting each other along the narrow roads.
Without the changes, the amount of traffic would result in a “severe and unacceptable impact on highway safety and the road network”, highways officials said.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust strongly objected to the application. It said environmental information was “severely lacking” and the application failed to address the climate crisis.
As well as traffic concerns, residents also objected to the likely impact of the site on the local environment and air quality. It would destroy people’s enjoyment of the rural setting and significantly affect their quality of life, they said.
The proposed lighting would allow the site to be seen from at least 1.5km away, the residents said. Proposed hedges and trees around the site would not screen it, they added.
Residents also criticised the council for ruling in August 2022 that the application did not need an environmental impact assessment.
On climate, they said it contravened the county council’s green master plan and the West Lindsey District Council green-based local plan policies.
IGas has argued that there is a “demonstrable need for oil in the UK”. It said developments like the new Glentworth site would increase energy security, bring new employment and generate tax revenue and business rates.
The planners said the proposal reflected government objectives of encouraging the recovery of indigenous oil supplies. They said:
“This proposal would therefore make a contribution towards meeting current and ongoing needs whilst the UK transitions towards a low carbon future.”
On climate change, the planners said:
“the Committee must apply planning policy as it currently stands and not on the basis of what those opposing the application for climate change reasons interpret the Government’s position to be.”
On landscape, council planners concluded:
“although this development would give rise to some adverse impacts on the visual appearance of the area during the earlier phases of development, the development is entirely reversible in nature and, following the construction, Page 66 testing and production period, the site can be decommissioned and fully restored to an after-use that would be appropriate and assimilate well into the wider landscape.”
On traffic, the planners said if changes to the lorry route were agreed, the road network would be appropriate and “ensure that this proposal would not result in a severe and unacceptable impact on highway safety”. They recommended a designated route that prevented lorries using the part of Northlands Road that runs east from the site entrance towards Northlands Road.
On noise, the planners said drilling noise at the nearest homes would be within levels set by national planning policy and would “not result in an unacceptable harm to residential amenity”.
On wildlife, they said objections about insufficient information on improvements to biodiversity were not enough to reuse the application.
- The county council’s planning committee meets on Monday 17 April, at 10.30am, in the council offices at Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL. Link to meeting agenda. The meeting will be broadcast live on YouTube.
Categories: Regulation, slider
Are they mad!!!
This is outrageous in a climate crisis! What’s worse is that it isn’t a one-off. Lincolnshire is becoming a sacrifice zone to inappropriate developments in the countryside. Even if they closed EVERY oil site in the county it would reduce UK oil output by less than half a per cent. We can easily replace that with renewables, giving us clean, cheap energy and a safer environment. It’s a no brainer – seems Lincs planners have their heads stuck in the past.
Except alex you require your plastic, so why not produce the oil from a local source? There are also many other products that come from oil-such as artificial rubber used in large quantities by the NHS.
“We” can not easily-hence the need for £200B to be spent on new nuclear for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, which then makes the cheap argument as redundant as that used by the teenager arguing the car is cheap to his parents then admitting the insurance is horrifically expensive when the bank of Mum and Dad is required to compensate. So familiar to a lot of people, it is surprising the failed arithmetic is still attempted. I see EDF are trying it (on) now as well. (That £200B will come from energy bills, and the high generation costs for nuclear are easily accessed.)
4.4 ha, so much better than the areas required to be covered in glass for solar farms.
The vast majority of those who live in Lincolnshire I speak to have no idea there are oil wells there, and some that have become aware are totally unconcerned about it, as they watch the red diesel powered farm machinery producing their food and the fuel oil powered grain driers doing their work in the Autumn. The countryside in Lincolnshire is very productive, it is farmed pretty intensively. Seems sensible that some of those farming inputs could also be produced locally rather than shipped from over the horizon, to produce, amongst other things, cereals that are then processed to make biofuel to replace some fossil fuel but also reduce the efficiency of motor vehicles and increase the price of food and travel! I would ask “are they mad”, except I don’t need to. The proof of that pudding is in the flour cost.