Wressle inquiry (2) November 2019

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Egdon Resources team at the Wressle planning inquiry, 6 November 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

This page has links (in red) to detailed reports on the public inquiry into Egdon’s application for long-term oil production at Wressle in North Lincolnshire. 

North Lincolnshire Council refused the proposals three times: on 11 January 2017, 23 June 2017 and 28 November 2018. A public inquiry in November 2017 dismissed the company’s first appeal. The council withdrew its case from the second appeal, three months before the opening of the inquiry.


Inquiry

Dates: Tuesday 5 November-Thursday 7 November 2019

Location:  Hobbies Centre, Wesley Road, Scunthorpe DN16 1SA

Parties: Egdon Resources plc

Appeal reference:  APP/Y2003/W/19/3221694

Link to appeal documents


Site

Address: Lodge Farm, Clapp Gate, Appleby, DN15 0DB

Key facts and timeline


People

Inspector: Phillip Ware

Egdon Resources barrister: Hereward Phillpot QC

Egdon witnesses (in order of appearance): Mark Abbott (managing director), Mark Barwood (engineering consultant), Jonathan Foster (regulation consultant), James Dodds (hydrogeology consultant), Paul Foster (planning consultant)

Campaigners who made statements: (in order of appearance): Jean Turner, Elizabeth Williams,  Andrew McLeod, Rebecca Fawcett, Dave Roberts

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Opponents outside the public inquiry into plans by Egdon Resources for 15 years of oil production at the Wressle site near Scunthorpe, 5 November 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop


News updates from the inquiry

Preview

Day 1: Egdon opening statement, speeches from residents, Egdon witnesses – 5 November 2019

Key points

  • Egdon’s proposed proppant squeeze needs a hydraulic fracture plan – Egdon consultant
  • Inspector should assume other regulators will operate effectively – Egdon consultant
  • Upgrades planned to well platform, oil storage bund and tanker loading
  • 2.15 million barrels of oil classed as recoverable from Wressle – Egdon MD
  • Wressle scheme will help UK avoid imports – Egdon MD
  • Wressle plan is “technically fracking” but legal loopholes avoid regulations – opponent 
  • Egdon errors and oversights revealed only by public scrutiny and council consultants – opponent
  • Risks from acid, seismicity, emissions – opponent
  • Objections don’t justify refusal – Egdon barrister

Day 2:  More Egdon witnesses and speeches from residents – 6 November 2019 

Key points

  • North Lincolnshire councillors did not read report or understand the key issues of Wressle site – Egdon witness
  • Decision won’t happen before the general election
  • Industry in the countryside will make it look like a town, resident warns
  • Wressle plans are not novel, says Egdon
  • No unacceptable risk to groundwater or surface water – Egdon consultant
  • Time to choose between fossil fuels and a tolerable climate – resident
  • No need for more oil and gas – resident
  • Dismissing appeal is step in right direction of climate change – resident
  • Inspector rejects condition to allow “operational need” that would extend working hours

Day 3: closing statements  and reaction – 7 November 2019

Key points

Egdon

  • Moratorium on fracking will not affect Egdon’s Wressle plans
  • Proppant squeeze is “different in scale and purpose” from fracking
  • No objections raised could justify refusal of planning permission
  • The scheme would bring “substantial benefits” and complied with local and national planning policy
  • No evidence that oil produced at Wressle would lead to a “net increase in consumption and overall greenhouse gas emissions”

Opponents

  • Egdon plans to use a form of fracking at Wressle and requires a hydraulic fracturing plan
  • Wressle plans are “by no means small scale and conventional”
  • North Lincolnshire Council’s withdrawal from the inquiry “stacked odds heavily in Egdon’s favour”
  • “Profoundly disappointed” that campaigners could not sum up their arguments
  • Egdon criticised for dismissing risk of seismic activity and traffic problems
  • “Disappointment” that planning system makes it so difficult for the public to influence decision-making

Reports from the Wressle public inquiry was made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers. You can support DrillOrDrop by making a donation here