PLANNERS have recommended that a company’s proposal to test the flow of oil in a well it drilled four years ago be approved.

A report to West Sussex County Council’s planning committee released on Thursday highlighted that there had been almost 2,750 objections to Cuadrilla’s plans to carry out testing at the site 800 metres south of Balcombe.

Cuadrilla, a company exploring and developing shale gas, wants to flow test the well it drilled in Balcombe in 2013.

If the oil flows, the company then intends to apply for further planning permission for long-term production.

The report states: “The flow testing and monitoring operation proposed at the Lower Stumble Wood site has the potential to result in impacts on the highway, people and the environment, issues which have been raised in the large number of objections to the application.

“Although the rig, crane and flare on the site would be visible at times during the development, the impact would be short-lived and so would not compromise the landscape qualities of the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty.”

Villagers voted in 2014 to keep oil companies out of Balcombe.

West Sussex County Council’s planning committee will meet to discuss the application on January 9.