22nd July 2014
Nine residents and landowners around a potential drilling site near Wisborough Green announced yesterday they had formed a “legal blockade” to prevent gas and oil exploration under their property.
The group, which includes Sussex Wildlife Trust, is denying Celtique Energie permission to drill horizontally under their land.
Solicitors acting on behalf of the group have sent an official letter to the company and the Department of Energy and Climate Change stating the landowners’ refusal to allow fracking under their land – which covers almost the entire perimeter of the site.
Drilling companies currently need permission from landowners or the courts. But the government plans to change the law so that drilling can go ahead without landowners’ approval.
Earlier this year, villagers in the West Sussex village of Fernhurst formed a similar block around a second Celtique Energie site. As a result, Celtique withdrew its application for a horizontal well.
West Sussex County Council’s planning committee meets today in Horsham to consider the Wisborough Green planning application. A webcam of the meeting can be viewed here.