Drilling firm asked for more details about fracking bid

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A FRACKING application is temporarily on hold after the drilling company was asked to provide more evidence supporting its proposals.

Celtique Energie has applied to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) for permission for an exploratory drill at Fernhurst, near Chichester.

A decision was due to be made next month but SDNPA chief executive Trevor Beattie said ‘significant details’ had been omitted from Celtique’s environmental statement and he has requested more information.

It will give the SDNPA and local residents several months breathing space.

Mr Beatty told a meeting of concerned residents in Chichester on Thursday: ‘I pledge to you that the scrutiny will be close, expert, and intense.

He added: ‘That’s why we have a national park.

‘That’s the value that the national park adds. Our precious landscape demands no less.’

Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Lawrence Carter said: ‘This is yet another setback for a fracking industry that is finding out just how tough it is to push their drilling plans on communities where opposition to this controversial technique is strong.’