Decision Day For Oil Production At Biscathorpe
October 31st 2021This Monday, the Lincolnshire County Council planning committee will meet to decide on an application for oil drilling in Biscathorpe by Egdon Resources. The application would develop the site for oil and gas production for what they predict to be 15 years.
The site lies within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of the Lincolnshire Wolds, and is close to the River Bain, a rare chalk stream.
The County Council is dealing with this application because it concerns the extraction of fossil fuels. Energy and mineral extraction applications come under its remit rather than that of the district council.
The meeting will take place at 2pm on Monday 1st November at the Tennyson Suite of the Brackenborough Hotel, Cordeaux Corner, Louth. However, because of Covid restrictions there limited numbers of spaces for members of the public to attend, and anyone who wants to will have to call the council first. The meeting will be audio streamed rather than available as a video, and that can be accessed on this page.
ObjectionsThe recommendation of LCC's planning officers is for the committee to approve this application. However, if the committee do so it won't be popular. A petition with 1538 signatures has been sent in, urging Lincolnshire County Council to refuse the application.
The five nearby parish councils of Donington on Bain, Hemingby, Elkington, South Willingham, and Welton le Wold have all sent in objections. The Campaign to Protect Rural England also objected. People sent in over 200 letters of objection.
I was one of the objectors as well. There is a lot to dislike about this application, including the impact it has on the local environment and the way the development will clash with some of the requirements of East Lindsey District Council's Local Plan. The biggest deal, however, is the impact and ethics of extracting yet more fossil fuel, when climate change has claimed lives, and is likely to do so with increasing ferocity in the future.
COP26Hopefully the significance of taking a decision on fossil fuel extraction during the COP26 international climate summit at Glasgow won't be lost on LCC's planning committee. We are on the brink of even greater climate disaster than we've seen so far.
Unfortunately, every previous climate summit so far has failed. If you think that statement is harsh, the figures on global carbon dioxide in the atmosphere pull no punches. Even the economic shutdown of 2020 made no dent in the inexorable rise of the pollution caused by this greenhouse gas.
It's hard to say at this point what will help, but we know very well what will make things worse: more fossil fuel extraction.
It's up to politicians of all levels to show leadership, and to act together to reduce future warming. Every decision such as this one is going to make a difference, and local campaigners will be watching this one closely.