CELTIQUE Energie has defended its plans to drill for oil and gas, following news today that officers have recommended it is refused by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA).
In a report published today (September 3), members of the SDNPA planning committee are being recommended to refuse planning permission for exploratory drilling and appraisal for oil/gas at Fernhurst.
Now Celtique Energie has issued a statement in response to the recommendation.
The report, by SDNPA officers, advises that the applicant, Celtique Energie, 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.
A spokesman for Celtique said: “As part of our application we have submitted a comprehensive Environmental Statement that assesses the potential environmental impacts associated with Celtique’s operations, including landscape, transport and noise, and describes in detail the steps we would take to mitigate them.
“We are confident in the robustness of our application and hope that the planning committee of the South Downs National Park Authority shares this view when they meet to decide on the application next week.
“We recognise the importance of the South Downs National Park to the local community in terms of culture, heritage and economic contribution to the region, and reiterate that minerals can only be worked from where they naturally occur.
“The exploration well is a temporary structure that would have a modest impact on the local area during its relatively short period of operation but would conclude on behalf of DECC whether oil or gas reserves exist in this location that could contribute to the UK’s energy mix.”
The SDNPA planning committee will meet to make a decision on the application at 10am on September 11.
A full copy of the report is available at www.southdowns.gov.uk