April 11, 2022 1.00 pm

“They’ve done nothing”: Councillors hit out at oil company after drill delay

Unacceptable anxiety caused by plans

Councillors have said an oil company had already had eight years to start work as they confirmed plans to reject an application to extend dates for a drill near North Kelsey.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning and Regulations Committee on Monday approved their reasons for voting against Egdon Resource’s application in March.

Egdon had first gained permission to explore in the area in 2014 and has since made several applications to extend the period and some of the conditions.

The firm blamed a number of reasons, including most recently the COVID pandemic, and has also said local oil would be needed more due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It said its exploratory drilling could provide valuable indigenous oil reserves for the country.

However, at the meeting on Monday, Councillor Paul Skinner said: “They had the opportunity since 2014, it was written in quite clearly the reasons they weren’t going to get another extension.

“They’ve had eight years to do something and really I see they’ve done nothing.”

Campaigners fighting the plans had said it would cause major harm to the area and its wildlife.

Reports to the council added the application and future ones would cause “unacceptable anxiety” to residents.

“Representations from the local community have made it clear that the delay and prolonging the uncertainty with each extension of time has caused unacceptable levels of anxiety to local residents which has been exacerbated through the repeated extensions of time sought by the applicant,” said a report to councillors.

“The anxiety of local residents from these delays and repeated applications creates unacceptable adverse impacts to residents’ amenity.”

At the same meeting, councillors also refused an application for security cabins on the site because officers said there was “no need” for them now the extensions had been rejected.