Councillors hailed as ‘heroes’ after rejecting oil well extension plans

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 9 Aug 2018

JUBILANT campaigners hailed councillors as “local heroes” after they unanimously rejected plans for an oil firm to have more time at a well site in North Lincolnshire.

Egdon Resources submitted the plan to extend an exploratory phase at the site in Wressle ahead of controversial plans to drill for oil at the well.

But at a meeting on Wednesday, August 1, members of North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee unanimously turned down the extension application, despite a further proposal already being submitted.

Egdon Resources has lodged proposals for a third time for commercial drilling at the site after the council twice rejected the plans.

The Government’s planning inspectorate also turned down the company’s appeal against the decision in January, but allowed it to retain the site for a further year.

Members of North Lincolnshire Council's planning committee, pictured at the Civic Centre in Scunthorpe

The company said its new proposals “comprehensively” addressed concerns raised in previous applications. 

But after the latest plans were turned down by the planning committee, campaigner Elizabeth Willams said: “It’s beyond our wildest dreams.

“I just think it’s good old North Lincolnshire Council, they are local heroes and national heroes because the whole  
country will be watching this.”

Local resident Melanie Dale said the decision was a victory for people living in the Wressle area.
“It’s a win-win for local people,” she said.

“I spoke to a lot of people out and about campaigning and not one person was for this development.

“So we’re really pleased that the council has listened to the concerns of local people and again refused it.”

Plans by Egdon Resources to extend an exploratory phase at an oil well in Wressle have been rejected by North Lincolnshire Council

Speaking at the meeting at the Civic Centre in Scunthorpe, Paul Foster, of Egdon Resources, said the extension proposed was “modest” and would have no impact on the area. 

He said: “The 12-month retention is a modest period of time. There are no operations proposed to be undertaken other than security and monitoring at the site.”

He said that the application was lodged to allow for time for the company’s resubmitted plan to be heard by the council.

But councillors said the firm had not complied with the inspectorate’s decision for the site to be dismantled by April 2018 and had, instead, put a time extension application in.

Councillor Holly Mumby-Croft said the firm had been “disrespectful” to local residents. She said: “I do not know why you waited until April to put in an extension application. I find it disrespectful.”

After the meeting, Mark Abbott, managing director of Egdon Resources, said the company would be appealing against the decision.

He said: “The decision of the committee is clearly disappointing given that the application had been recommended for approval by North Lincolnshire Council’s own professional planning officers, that an appeal for a previous refusal of such an application had been successful and that we have recently submitted a new application for the development of the Wressle oil field, which we strongly believe comprehensively addresses the reasons for the refusal of the original planning applications and the subsequent appeals.

“We intend to appeal this decision without delay and will begin preparing documentation on receipt of the committee’s decision notice.”

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