THE first application to drill for shale gas in the South Downs National Park looks set to be turned down.
Lawyers have recommended the National Park Authority’s planning committee refuse permission for Celtique Energie Weald to carry out exploratory drilling and appraisal for oil and gas in the Fernhurst area, north of Chichester.
Following scrutiny they have concluded Celtique has failed to demonstrate exceptional circumstances exist for such exploration and appraisal to take place within the highly protected landscape, and that it is in the public interest to do so.
But it is now down to members of the planning committee, which meets on September 11, whether they follow that advice. They do not have to.
The meeting is at the SDNPA Centre, Midhurst, at 10am.