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North Kelsey oil exploration unanimously rejected

Lewis Townsend
By Lewis Townsend
14th March 2022

Egdon Resources submitted a planning extension for an oil drilling site in North Kelsey, Lincolnshire. On 14th March 2022, this was unanimously rejected by the Lincolnshire County Council planning committee.

Egdon Resources (ER), the oil and gas extraction and production firm which submitted the application, has had planning permission to explore on the North Kelsey site for seven years. In this time, very little work has been undertaken, leaving residents feeling anxious throughout.

Having recently been refused permission to explore for oil at a nearby site in Biscathorpe, ER had applied for an extension on their planning permission for drilling at the North Kelsey site, which we submitted an objection to – and we’re delighted to report that this was unanimously rejected by the Lincolnshire County Council planning committee.

This is great news for residents, who have spent the past seven years campaigning to protect their local countryside. The North Kelsey site is farmland that sits just outside the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is home to a number of red list bird species, as well as deer and foxes. The access road is a single track country lane with rich, grassy verges and home to countless native flora and fauna such as insects and invertebrates.

Our objection

CPRE’s objection, which was written and submitted by Katie Atkinson of KVA Planning on our behalf, robustly argued against the case for exploratory drilling in North Kelsey, and more specifically, against the continued planning extensions submitted by Egdon Resources.

We argued that ER should not be granted an extension on planning permission on several grounds: from their lack of progress so far, to the lack of evidenced 10% BNG (Biodiversity Net Gain), and, fundamentally we argued that such developments fly in the face of our need to address the climate emergency and achieve carbon net zero by 2050. To this end, CPRE do not support any new applications for fossil fuel production – either at exploratory or production phases.

ER made the case that the Russia and Ukraine conflict justifies more UK-produced oil, but we argued that the UK’s reliance on Russian oil is comparatively low to other European countries, and demand for oil is set to dramatically drop by 2050.

You can read our full opposition here.

Engaging with communities

Amanda Suddaby, local resident and SOS North Kelsey campaigner contacted us for our support in tackling this development, and we were pleased to be able to support local campaigners and communities with our objection. She comments:

Thank you to CPRE (and their agent KVA) for your support in getting this scheme rejected by Lincolnshire County Council. We need more people to be fully cognisant of the fragility of our countryside/planet in light of the climate & ecological crisis. Sadly, this is not reflected in much of our current planning legislation;  it is vital that we keep pushing our decision-makers for improvement in this regard, and CPRE’s expertise in this is much appreciated.

“Today I shall enjoy watching fieldfares, lapwing & yellowhammers on the site with a much easier heart, thanks to LCC’s decision yesterday,”

We understand that Egdon Resources plan to appeal the decision, and hope to provide additional support if it should be required.

We were pleased to be able to add CPRE’s voice into the debate and pleased to help protect Lincolnshire’s beautiful countryside

View of North Kelsey site
The site in question, which sits on the border of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB Amanda Suddaby / SOS North Kelsey