North Lincolnshire

Oil firm to get well site extension

More time is expected to be given to an oil firm at a well site in North Lincolnshire ahead of a controversial proposal to continue drilling.

Egdon Resources has submitted plans to allow workers to stay at Lodge Farm near Wressle for a further 12 months, to give enough time for a fresh application for drilling to be heard.

It comes as the firm lodged plans for a third time to North Lincolnshire Council to drill for oil at the well.

Councillors have already twice rejected proposals from Egdon to carry out drilling at the site and the company’s attempts to appeal the decision failed in January 2018.

However, the government’s planning inspectorate decided in the firm’s favour to allow them to retain the Wressle site for a further year.

Now, council officers have recommended that Egdon be given approval to remain at the site.

Members of the authority’s planning committee will make a decision on the time extension at a meeting on August 1.

But, the application has been met by objection from Broughton Town Council and Friends of the Earth.

Local residents and FrackFree Lincolnshire protesters outside Lincolnshire County Council ahead of the planning meeting on Biscathorpe and North Kelsey sites.

They said that Egdon has been at the site for four years and has had enough time to carry out its work.

The company argues it needs time for its application to be heard and that the new proposal “comprehensively” addresses concerns raised.

Mark Abbott, managing director at Egdon, said previously:  “The proposed development incorporates high levels of protection measures to minimise the potential for any environmental or other impacts from our operations.

“The effectiveness of this mitigation will be verified by continuous monitoring of the nearby water and groundwater.”

Meanwhile, Egdon has seen other plans in Lincolnshire approved by county councillors.

The firm will continue drilling in Biscathorpe and North Kelsey after blaming a lack of progress at both sites on low oil prices.

Campaigners said they were “appalled” at the decision reached by councillors.