TODAY IS THE DAY THE SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY PLANNING COMMITTEE MEET TO DECIDE CELTIQUE'S FERNHURST DRILLING APPLICATION

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Members of the committee are being recommended to refuse planning permission for exploratory drilling in the national park.

A report by SDNPA officers says Celtique ‘failed to demonstrate that the exploration of this national resource could not be undertaken elsewhere outside this designated area’.

Friends of the Earth campaigner Brenda Pollack said: “This type of exploratory drilling should not take place in one of our most cherished landscapes. It would be madness.

“We hope the committee does the right thing and says no to drilling under our Downs.”

From consultations that have taken place, some 14 objections were raised by various organisations – seven of which were parish or town councils.