Petworth MP Nick Herbert welcomes Celtique drilling bid withdrawal

Greenpeace activists target the South Downs National Park Authority meeting with a Not For Shale roadshow
Greenpeace activists target the South Downs National Park Authority meeting with a Not For Shale roadshow
  • Celtique Energie drops drilling bids in Fernhurst and Wisborough Green
  • Planning permission refused by West Sussex County Council and South Downs National Park Authority last year
  • Campaigners and local MP are ‘delighted’ with the news
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SOUTH Downs MP Nick Herbert has welcomed the announcement by Celtique Energie, which has dropped two bids for exploratory drilling sites in Wisborough Green and Fernhurst.

Celtique Energie last night (March 11) announced it will not appeal against West Sussex County Council’s refusal to grant the company permission for exploratory drilling between Kirdford and Wisborough Green.

This is great news for the communities who would have been affected by this drilling. The site was poorly chosen and would have meant lorries thundering down quiet county lanes and through villages.

Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert said the announcement was ‘great news’.

“This is great news for the communities who would have been affected by this drilling. The site was poorly chosen and would have meant lorries thundering down quiet county lanes and through villages.

“That is why I objected to this application on behalf of local communities. The South Downs is a highly protected landscape for good reason, and the Government has rightly now set a presumption against fracking in or adjacent to National Parks.

“The industry must choose locations more carefully if it is to win public support for fracking in future.”

Mr Herbert formally objected to Celtique Energie’s application to drill between Wisborough Green and Kirdford and was due to appear before the Planning Inspector to reiterate his concerns.

Campaigners celebrate Celtique announcement

Fernhust anti-fracking campaigners are ‘over the moon’

Celtique Energie is withdrawing its appeal against West Sussex County Council’s refusal of permission to drill at Kirdford and Wisborough Green, just outside the national park.

And the company said it would not be lodging an appeal against the South Downs National Park’s refusal for drilling at Nine Acre Copse in Fernhurst.

However, Celtique has the go ahead for exploratory drilling at Billinghurst where work is expected to start in the next few weeks.

Although the plan is to drill conventionally, Billingshurst villagers fear they also face the threat of fracking and are launching their Frack Free Billingshurst campaign on Sunday (March 15)

Celtique Energie announces withdrawal