14th July 2014
Celtique Energie is seeking a postponement of the decision by West Sussex County Council on its plans to drill an exploratory oil or gas well between Kirdford and Wisborough Green. If this is not granted, the company has threatened to appeal or withdraw the entire application.
County planners revealed last Friday that they would recommend the planning committee refuse the application when it meets in a week’s time (Tuesday July 22nd).
In a report to the committee, the planners said Celtique Energie had failed to show that the drilling site would not adversely affect highway capacity and road safety. Earlier this month, the county’s Highway Authority formally objected to the application.
This evening, Celtique Energie issued a statement. It said the objection was the first formal response it had received from the Highways Officer since April.
“As a result”, the statement said, “We will be requesting that WSCC defer the planning decision to the next scheduled Planning Committee meeting on the 2nd September 2014, in order to have time to respond to this very recent objection.”
Celtique added it was preparing a response to the points made by the Highways Authority and it was confident these would be addressed adequately.
“If that deferral request is not granted we will either elect to formally withdraw the application prior to the Planning Committee meeting on 22nd July, as is our right, and resubmit the entire application with the updated traffic section, or appeal.
“Sadly this resubmission route would result in another long period of uncertainty for local people and increase the cost of handling the application for WSCC, rate payers and Celtique Energie.”