A new oil well in Glentworth, Gainsborough, has been granted planning permission, despite heavy opposition from Glentworth Parish Council.

During the Lincolnshire County Council Planning and Regulation Committee meeting on the 17th of April, planning permission was sought by IGas Energy Plc to construct a hydrocarbon wellsite.

The site chosen for the new oil well in Glentworth. Photo: IGas planning application

Applicant Tony Bryan, development director of IGas Energy said: “We have a long and successful history in Lincolnshire extracting hydrocarbons safely and environmentally responsibly for decades whilst working with the local communities and supporting local projects through the IGas Community Fund, which has distributed over £1,000,000 to community projects around our sites since 2008.”

The Glentworth field was originally discovered in 1961 by BP and over the years planning permission has been granted for some 60 wells. IGas has been operating in sites at Glentworth since 2011.

An objector, Mr. Latham, represented Glentworth Parish Council and the residents of the village. Mr. Latham asked the committee to refuse the application. He said: “There is no support whatsoever for this development in the village.

“We are concerned regardless of what the expert reports say about the noise, air pollution, vibration, and safety. This is a primary route for pedestrians, dog walkers, horse riders and cyclists, our school bus pickup point are on that road.

“Then there’s the actual development of the site, a long-extended period of building work. Industrial work ongoing for 24 hours a day, flood lighting and a 40-meter-high drilling rig. This is nothing less than the industrialization of the countryside, with no direct benefit to the Village or its residence. Once it is lost, it is gone forever.”

Mr. Latham also brought up the National Planning Policy Framework (or MPPF) paragraphs 152 and 185. Paragraph 152 makes clear that decisions should support the transition to a low-carbon future in a changing climate. Additionally, paragraph 185 states that the decision should, “protect tranquil areas that have remained relatively undisturbed by noise.”

Refuting this, IGas Energy said in their planning application: “The benefits of domestic energy production through developments such as this proposal include greater energy security, new and additional employment opportunities as well as economic benefits through the generation of tax revenue and business rates.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s planning committee approved the application on April 17 2023

Mr Bryan addressed concerns surrounding school children in the area, assuring residents there will be a traffic management plan created before building work begins. Builders will also avoid HGV movements during school drop off and pickup times.

In a compromise to gain planning permission IGas said: “We are willing to agree to the Grampian condition to secure a section 278 agreement relating to the upgrade of Northlands Road from its Junction with Kexby Road to the application site entrance, and to secure a total of four new passing Bays along Kexby Road, and the widening of existing bays along Northlands Road.”

Finally, seven councillors voted to grant approval with conditions, including West Lindsay Councillor Ian Fleetwood, whilst two councillors, including Colsterworth Rural Councillor, Charlotte Vernon, were against granting planning permission to the new oil well.

In reaction to the Glentworth oil well, we asked Greenpeace UK for a comment. Charlie Kronick, Senior Climate Advisor for Greenpeace UK, said: “To argue that a domestic supply of dirty fossil fuels is somehow more secure or less carbon intensive completely misses the point. The only thing our addiction to fossil fuels can guarantee is unpredictable energy bills for consumers and climate chaos.

“Genuine energy security lies in the rapid deployment of renewables, investment in storage and a smarter grid, as well as an upgrade to our cold, inefficient homes through the likes of insulation and heat pumps. The quicker we can kick our fossil fuel habit and maximise cheaper and cleaner technologies, the quicker we can achieve real energy security and meet our climate commitments.”