Decision on drilling for oil and gas at northern Lincolnshire site is delayed by councillors

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 10 Apr 2018

A decision on plans to extend drilling for oil and gas at a site in northern Lincolnshire has been deferred by councillors.

Egdon Resources is seeking permission to continue drilling at the site off Smithfield Road in North Kelsey for another three years.

But councillors on Lincolnshire County Council's planning committee will now go on a site visit after deferring their decision following concerns being raised about the impact of operations on local residents.

Egdon had originally been granted permission to explore for hydrocarbons at the site in 2014.

But the firm blamed low petrol prices and changing of licences for its failure to complete work at the site.

Paul Foster, speaking at today's planning committee meeting on behalf of Egdon, said the low prices affected plans for construction.

"Oil prices have been on a rollercoaster since 2014," he said.

"That means that the appetite for exploration has waned.

"The company requires a further three years to complete the works and if we find oil then we would need to submit a separate application."

But Councillor David Brailsford raised concerns about what the state of Smithfield Road could be after a further three-year period.

He said: "I do share the concerns of local residents.

"There’s no guarantee if we grant permission that in three years time there will not be another application.

"I just wonder at what state will the road be in?”

The council's planning officer had recommended granting permission for the application.

Egdon is also expected to resubmit an application to drill for oil and gas at a site in Wressle.

It comes after North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee twice rejected proposals for drilling at the site.

The Government’s Planning Inspectorate also turned down the application on appeal but upheld a decision for the firm to retain the well at Wressle.

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