More reaction to Fernhurst recommendation

Environmental groups and anti-fracking campaigners have welcomed yesterday’s report by South Downs National Park planners which recommended rejection of a planning application by Celtique Energie to drill an exploratory oil well at Fernhurst.

Frack Free Fernhurst on its Facebook page described the recommendation as “fantastic news”. The organisation rejected Celtique Energie’s statement that “minerals can only be worked from where they naturally occur.” FFF said: “Even their own maps show that the same geology exists widely outside the National Park.”

John Buchanan, of FFF, told the Argus:  said: “The decision hasn’t been made yet but it’s encouraging news. It’s entirely the right recommendation. We’re cautiously optimistic. We’ve had 18 months of worry. The industry is under-playing the impact on communities and real people.”

Friends of the Earth South East Campaigner Brenda Pollack told us: “Villagers will be very pleased to see this recommendation to turn down this highly controversial project –the planning committee must heed this advice. Exploring for unconventional reserves of oil or gas under one of our most prized areas of natural beauty would be madness. The planning department is right to be concerned about the damage to the landscape, noise pollution and increased traffic. Fracked oil won’t keep our bills down or help to lower emissions. We should be making good use of the abundant sources of clean energy we have in the UK.”

Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Vicky Wyatt told Energy Voice “Fracking is a serious threat to both our local environment and the global climate, and as such shouldn’t be allowed anywhere in Britain. But the idea of turning a much-loved national park into a testing ground for our inexperienced fracking industry is the height of madness. The park authority planners have applied basic common sense and advised against this project. The planning committee should stick to their experts’ advice and put a stop to Celtique’s attempt to frack Sussex.”

The final decision on the planning application will be made at a meeting of the South Downs National Park planning committee on Thursday September 11th at Midhurst, starting at 10am.

Places at the meeting are limited and people who want to attend must register on by midday on Friday September 5th. The meeting will be webcast live.

Categories: Campaign, Regulation

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