Oil drilling decision questioned at High Court

Campaigners from SOS Biscathorpe pose with placards outside the Royal Court of Justice
Campaigners from SOS Biscathorpe have taken their battle against oil drilling on the Lincolnshire Wolds to the High Court [BBC]

A legal representative for campaigners fighting against oil drilling on the Lincolnshire Wolds has questioned a planning inspectors decision to approve it.

The High Court hearing was brought by SOS Biscathorpe after a government decision last year to allow work to begin.

Dr Lois Lane questioned whether the amount of oil at the site would made a significant difference to the UK's energy security.

The developer, Egdon Resources, said it is confident of extracting oil from the site without an adverse impact on the environment.

The proposed oil well site at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire
Egdon Resources' proposed oil drilling site at Biscathorpe in the Lincolnshire Wolds [BBC]

Lincolnshire County Council originally refused permission for the site but, in 2023, the Planning Inspectorate overturned the decision saying it was in the "public interest".

The ruling said any environmental impact to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was outweighed by the importance of sourcing oil from a UK-based project.

The row over drilling at the site has continued for more than 10 years and, ahead of the hearing, campaigners held placards outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

Amanda Suddaby told the BBC: "We have to stop looking for new sources of fossil fuels. It's absolute madness that we're still looking for it".

The case continues on Thursday when Egdon Resources is expected to provide more detailed evidence to support the decision to approve the project.

A judgment in the case is expected to be deferred for several months.

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