This industrial development is proposed within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a designated exceptional landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are precious enough to be safeguarded in the national interest. In what specific way does this development contribute to sustaining this exceptional landscape and its biodiversity?

National planning guidance requires applicants for major development within the AONB to demonstrate that the development is in the public interest. Applications should include an assessment of the need for the development and the impact upon the local economy; the cost of developing outside the AONB or meeting the need in some other way; and any impacts on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities and how they could be moderated.The planning statement, the socio-economic report and the Environmental Statement which will accompany the planning application will assess these criteria to demonstrate why the proposed development is in the public interest.

Please confirm the direction the side track well will take (we were told in recent meeting it will be south west from the site)? You state there is natural screening – I have a direct line of sight to the site, so this is not true. What is the noise threshold above ambient background noise? What were the conclusions of the assessments?

The side-track well is to be in a South-Westerly direction from the existing site. In relation to lighting, a detailed lighting assessment has been undertaken (and forms part of the Environmental Statement) to assess the potential for light pollution and the mitigation and design changes required to minimise this. There is natural screening around the site, but it will be the case that the site is in view from certain aspects and we don’t claim that the natural screening will mitigate views from all directions. In respect of noise, a detailed noise assessment has been undertaken (and forms part of the Environmental Statement) and has concluded that “the proposed development, during any or all of the phases anticipated, will not give rise to significant effects as a result of its noise emissions”. The report is highly detailed and has assessed the background noise levels and the potential noise levels associated with all stages of the proposed development and their impact on noise levels at the nearest properties to the site. Previous planning Condition 10 (planning permission reference (E)N59/2259/14, dated 17th October 2014) required that the noise arising from drilling, at the boundary of any noise-sensitive residential property, must not exceed 42dB LAeq,1h during the hours 07:00h and 23:00h (daytime and evening), and 42dB LAeq,5min between 23:00h and 07:00h (night-time). These limits would not be exceeded during any of the stages of the proposed development. Please note also that we had noise monitoring applied during the drilling of the Biscathorpe-2 well, and this showed that no noise thresholds were breached at the nearest properties. We intend to repeat noise monitoring during all phases of the development.

What steps can be taken to alleviate subsurface leakage and or groundwater contamination in and around well bores. “Earthquakes of any magnitude have potential to create or enhance subsurface leakage in and around well bores, in active and abandoned wells… The vast majority of subsurface leakage (including those enhanced or caused by earthquakes) are likely to go undetected”. Kang, Lui, Williams, Douglas, McKenzie, Environmental Research Communication, Vol. 1, No. 12, 2019. It should be noted that the Biscathorpe area experienced a 5.2 magnitude earthquake in 2008

The well is designed to ensure that there are multiiple barriers to any possible pathway for fluids from the oil bearing reservoir (at a depth of c. 2000 m below ground level) to the groundwater aquifers in the top few hundred metres below ground level. The well design is independently assessed by the Environment Agency to ensure groundwater protection. The well is constructed using a series of cemented steel casing strings which are tested for integrity during installation. The well will be monitored for integrity throughout its lifetime in line with best industry practice and at the end of its life will be plugged with a series of cement plugs back to surface to ensure robust and tested barriers are in place to prevent any flows of oil or gas from the well. There is no evidence from the many hundreds of oil wells in Lincolnshire and elsewhere that deep seated regional earthquake activity (such as the Market Raisen event mentioned) has had any impact on well integrity.