Lincolnshire oil drilling challenge in the High Court

05 Jun 2024

Cornerstone Climate, Public Law and Judicial Review, Planning and Environment

An oil drilling project at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire will be challenged in the High Court today.

Local campaign group SOS Biscathorpe are challenging the decision of a Planning Inspector to grant permission to developer Egdon Resources Ltd for up to 15 years’ of oil production in the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB (now National Landscape).

The challenge will determine:

  • Whether the Inspector misinterpreted national planning policy on the need for exceptional circumstances to justify development in an AONB.
  • Whether the environmental impact assessment should have considered downstream greenhouse gas emissions from burning the extracted oil, in light of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in R (Finch) v Surrey County Council¬†[2022] EWCA Civ 187.
  • Whether the weight that the Inspector gave to the project’s potential impact on national energy supply security and overseas oil production was irrational.

Estelle Dehon KC and Dr Lois Lane act for SOS Biscathorpe, instructed by Julia Eriksen of Leigh Day.

Read a BBC News report on the case here.