Bid to drill for shale gas in South Downs National Park recommended for refusal

Bid to drill for shale gas recommended for refusal

Bid to drill for shale gas recommended for refusal

First published in News by , Business editor

A bid to drill for shale gas in the South Downs National Park has been recommended for refusal.

Exploratory company Celtique Energie “failed to demonstrate exceptional circumstances” to justify drilling in the protected landscape near Fernhurst.

The plan risked having a “damaging effect” on the landscape while heavy traffic would have an “unacceptable impact” on the peace and tranquillity of the area.

A report to the park authority’s planning committee said it would not be in the public interest to permit exploratory drilling for oil and gas.

A final decision has not been made but with it is now expected the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) will formally refuse the bid next Thursday.

Trevor Beattie, chief executive for the SDNPA, said: “Any proposal for major development in a National Park must demonstrate that exceptional circumstances exist for the development to go ahead and that it is in the public interest for the development to occur. Key assessments are whether there is a proven need for this development in this location or whether oil or gas exploration could take place elsewhere.

“It is for the members of the SDNPA Planning Committee to consider the report, evidence, the relevant policies and material considerations and make a decision on this important application.”

John Buchanan, of Frack Free Fernhurst, 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.”

Celtique Energie said it had submitted an environmental statement assessing the impact on landscape, transport and noise, and mitigation measures.

A spokesman said: “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.

“The exploration well is a temporary structure that would have a modest impact on the area during its relatively short period of operation but would conclude on behalf of Department for Energy and Climate Change whether oil or gas reserves exist in this location that could contribute to the UK’s energy mix.”

Comments (3)

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8:14am Thu 4 Sep 14

Valentinian says...

Drill away..we need energy.
Drill away..we need energy. Valentinian
  • Score: -13

8:39am Thu 4 Sep 14

Nosfaratu says...

Save yourselves you Fenhurst people, don't worry about the Economy, the price of gas from Russia, being blackmailed by energy companies as long as your piece of Little England remains totally free.
Save yourselves you Fenhurst people, don't worry about the Economy, the price of gas from Russia, being blackmailed by energy companies as long as your piece of Little England remains totally free. Nosfaratu
  • Score: -16

3:40pm Thu 4 Sep 14

G Wiley says...

As expected, the anti-frackers just come up with negative votes these days and no real arguments to support their case. They are a small, but very vocal group.

Like the 1000 people that apparently turned up for the Reclaim the Power demonstrations of August in Blackpool? Probably supported by our very own Big Lemon Bus Company ferrying protesters up there.

Or the 150 'celebrities' that supported the anti-fracking movement - led up by Paul McCartney and who handed over to Vivienne Westwood who apparently 'made the anti-fracking movement look a bunch of fruit loops' according to a tweet after she'd appeared on the BBC Sunday Morning Live.

The lack of support for anti-fracking is minimal. In the Blackpool Clifton by election, Tina Louise Rothery of the 'Green Party Stop Fracking Now' achieved a massive 2% of the poll.

I would also love to see what misinformation the 'Fact Free Frack Free Fernhurst' group supplied to the SDNPA. Hopefully they won't be as easily misled by the NIMBY home-owners of Fernhurst who are more worried about the resale value of their properties and will happily spread misinformation to back their case.
As expected, the anti-frackers just come up with negative votes these days and no real arguments to support their case. They are a small, but very vocal group. Like the 1000 people that apparently turned up for the Reclaim the Power demonstrations of August in Blackpool? Probably supported by our very own Big Lemon Bus Company ferrying protesters up there. Or the 150 'celebrities' that supported the anti-fracking movement - led up by Paul McCartney and who handed over to Vivienne Westwood who apparently 'made the anti-fracking movement look a bunch of fruit loops' according to a tweet after she'd appeared on the BBC Sunday Morning Live. The lack of support for anti-fracking is minimal. In the Blackpool Clifton by election, Tina Louise Rothery of the 'Green Party Stop Fracking Now' achieved a massive 2% of the poll. I would also love to see what misinformation the 'Fact Free Frack Free Fernhurst' group supplied to the SDNPA. Hopefully they won't be as easily misled by the NIMBY home-owners of Fernhurst who are more worried about the resale value of their properties and will happily spread misinformation to back their case. G Wiley
  • Score: -1

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