Planners at the South Downs National Park Authority say Celtique Energie should not get permission to drill an exploratory oil well at Fernhurst.
Their report recommends that the Authority’s planning committee, which meets on September 11th, should refuse the company’s planning application for land at Nine Acre Copse.
A press notice from the SDDNPA released in the past few minutes, said: “The report, by SDNPA officers, having taken Leading Counsel advice, advises that the applicant has failed to demonstrate exceptional circumstances exist for such exploration and appraisal to take place within the protected landscape and that it is in the public interest to do so.”
Trevor Beattie, Chief Executive for the SDNPA said: “Any proposal for major development in a National Park must demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist for the development to go ahead and that it is in the public interest for the development to occur. Key assessments are whether there is a proven need for this development in this location or whether oil/ gas exploration could take place elsewhere. The report speaks for itself.
“It is for the Members of the SDNPA Planning Committee to consider the report, evidence, the relevant policies and material considerations and make a decision on this important application.”
The planning report is due to be posted here soon