Refusal of Celtique Energie’s Wisborough Green drilling application – reaction

22nd July 2014

Friends of the Earth described today’s refusal of the Celtique Energie planning application to drill between Wisborough Green and Kirdford as “absolutely the right decision”.

Brenda Pollack, the organisation’s south east campaigner, said: “Nobody wants to see Sussex ruined by industrial drilling for dirty fossil fuels. If Celtique had been allowed to test for oil or gas, then there’s every chance that fracking would have followed.”

This morning the planning committee of West Sussex County Council voted unanimously to refuse the company’s application to drill a vertical and horizontal exploratory oil well within 500 metres of homes.

The committee said the company had failed to show that this was the best possible site in the area. It also said the development would have an unacceptable impact on road capacity and safety and on the conservation area at Wisborough Green. Full report here

Brenda Pollack said: “Local people would have seen their peaceful neighbourhoods shattered by the drilling and the extra lorries and other industrial traffic that comes with it. It has been clear from the start that this application must be refused for a range of reasons.

“Sussex could and should be at the heart of Britain’s growing clean, green energy and economic transformation with a drive to waste less energy and source it from the wind, sun and waves.”

Consultants representing Celtique Energie told today’s committee there were no highways grounds for refusing the application. In a statement issued last week, the company suggested it would appeal against a refusal. The company is preparing a statement on the decision and we’ll post this when we receive it.

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