FRACK Free Fernhurst (FFF) campaigners have welcomed South Downs National Park Authority top officer Trevor Beattie’s announcement to temporarily ‘hold’ plans for exploratory drilling while more supporting evidence is provided.
Celtique Energie has applied for permission to drill an exploratory well at Nine Acre Cope on the edge of Fernhurst.
But Mr Beattie’s announcement will put back a decision on the plans until the end of the summer.
Leading campaigner Martyn Knights said: “Having already commissioned our own specialist reports on traffic, hydrology, ecology, visual and acoustic impact, FFF has learnt that the environmental impact assessment (EIA) submitted with Celtique’s planning application is woefully short of essential information and in some cases could be said to be deliberately misleading.
“The EIA as currently presented in no way justifies oil/gas exploration on the Fernhurst site which merely underlines how inappropriate the proposed location is.”
South Downs Society chairman Robert Cheesman said: “The current planning application may only be for exploration, but we can have a good idea about what might happen next. This society supports renewable energy – at the right scale and in the right place – over the extraction and burning of more fossil fuels. And running a major gas extraction operation in the park can’t be right.”