BREAKING NEWS: Celtique Energie won’t appeal drilling refusals at Fernhurst and Wisborough Green

Celebrations as Celtique Energie's application to drill for oil and gas at Fernhurst is rejected by the SDNPA SUS-141109-124813001
Celebrations as Celtique Energie's application to drill for oil and gas at Fernhurst is rejected by the SDNPA SUS-141109-124813001
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CELTIQUE Energie has announced it will not appeal after it was refused permission to drill for oil and gas near Kirdford and Wisborough Green, and Fernhurst.

In a dramatic u-turn, the energy company has decided not to appeal after it was refused permission to drill at sites in Fernhurst and between Kirdford and Wisborough Green.

Anti-fracking campaigners at Midhurst.14LASEP11a-9 PPP-141109-203630006

Anti-fracking campaigners at Midhurst.14LASEP11a-9 PPP-141109-203630006

In a statement issued today (March 11), the energy company said: “Celtique Energie Weald Ltd has decided not to lodge an appeal against the refusal of planning permission by the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) for the drilling of a single exploration well at Land at Nine Acre Copse, Vann Road, Fernhurst.”

The SDNPA planning committee threw the planning application out in September last year.

The deadline to lodge an appeal was March 16.

Celtique said: “Recent changes in the Infrastructure Act 2015 restricting unconventional oil and gas development in National Parks mean one of the exploration aims, namely the evaluation of the shale properties, is no longer feasible.

“This is in conjunction with Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) reinforcing new planning guidance regarding oil and gas developments in National Parks in England, stipulating that applications should be refused in these areas other than in exceptional circumstances and where it is in the public interest. At present there is too much uncertainty over how this test will be applied in practice to justify investment in National Parks.”

The company will not appeal against the refusal of its bid to drill for oil and gas near Wisborough Green, which was thrown out by West Sussex County Council in July.

Celtique lodged an appeal against the decision on October 15 last year and the public inquiry was due to start in September 2015.

The company said: “Celtique has decided to withdraw the appeal against West Sussex County Council’s (WSCC) decision to refuse planning permission for the drilling of a single exploration well at Land South of Boxal Bridge, Northrup Field, Wisborough Green, West Sussex.

“The reasons for withdrawing the appeal at Boxal Bridge are primarily due to the impact of the inquiry delay has on future exploration and potential appraisal operations that need to be completed in order to deliver a development application within the licence time period.

“By the time the inspector’s decision is received and the period for any third party legal challenge to that decision has expired, there will be insufficient time to drill a well at this location prior to the end of the licence term in June 2016.”