A revised planning application for an extended well test at the Balcombe oil exploration site in West Sussex is due to be submitted within a week, operator Angus Energy said today.
A statement from the company said the application would be made to West Sussex County Council by 20 August 2020.
The application has been expected since mid-June 2020.
A report to the council’s planning committee said the scheme would “compromise the landscape qualities” of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It would also “establish a continued presence of industry which is not appropriate to the area”, the planners said.
That application attracted more than 500 objections, including from Balcombe Parish Council, Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Association, Sussex Wildlife Trust and CPRE. There were 28 comments in support.
Today, Angus Energy’s managing director, George Lucan, said:
“With our revised planning application, over which great care has been taken, we look forward to a fair hearing and positive result which will allow the Company and its shareholders to exploit this valuable asset and make our own contribution to the Government’s Net Zero targets specifically by replacing imported hydrocarbons and their higher associated carbon footprint.”
West Sussex County Council approved two previous applications, in 2014 and 2018, to test the Balcombe well.
Angus Energy carried out a seven-day test in September 2018. But for most of the past seven years the site has been empty.