The planning committee of the South Downs National Park Authority has refused an application by Celtique Energie to drill an exploratory oil well near Fernhurst in West Sussex.
The committee, meeting this morning at the National Park headquarters in Midhurst, voted unanimously to follow the advice of planning officers. They had recommended rejection because the application:
- Was not in the public interest
- Had no exceptional circumstances to justify development
- Would damage the tranquil and rural character of the landscape
- Would harm residents and visitors through noise and disturbance
The committee said Celtique Energie had not demonstrated that it could not drill elsewhere, outside the National Park.
This is the second drilling application by Celtique Energie in Sussex to be refused in the past few months. On July 22nd, West Sussex County Council’s planning committee refused the company’s bid to drill at Wisborough Green, a few miles outside the National Park.
More details soon.