Judgment day on oil drilling plans at beauty spot

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to drill for oil and gas in the South Downs National Park will be decided next month.

The planning committee of the National Park Authority will make a decision on Celtique Energie’s application for conventional oil and gas exploration at Nine Acre Copse in Fernhurst, east of Petersfield.

It comes after the London-based company was refused permission in July to explore for shale gas in an area of West Sussex.

A spokeswoman for the park authority said there had been an ‘unprecedented number’ of comments submitted. The meeting takes place on September 11.