Firm seeks permission to explore for gas or oil

JPCT 220612  Public exhibition on Celtique's plans to drill for gas south of Billingshurst. Geoff Davies from Celtique right, talking to Lorraine Dale and Martin Dale. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 220612 Public exhibition on Celtique's plans to drill for gas south of Billingshurst. Geoff Davies from Celtique right, talking to Lorraine Dale and Martin Dale. Photo by Derek Martin

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An energy exploration company has submitted plans to drill for gas or oil for a temporary well site in Broadford Bridge, near West Chiltington.

After consulting with residents, Celtique Energie sent an application to West Sussex County Council as the local minerals planning authority for the site at Wood Barn Farm - south of Billingshurst in Adversane Lane.

The firm held a consultation event, attended by 155 people, in Billingshurst on June 22 and 23 as part of plans to consult with those near the site before officially submitting plans.

Geoff Davis, chief executive officer for Celtique, said: “We are pleased to have submitted our first planning application for a temporary well site in the South of England, following a very positive period of engagement with the local community.

“In recent weeks we have sought to be open and transparent in the way we communicate our proposals and who we are as a company to the local community.”

He added that responses were broadly supportive, and that they had looked carefully at the feedback.

Of the residents who filled in their survey, 58 per cent either strongly agreed or agreed that the proposed well site was an appropriate location, while 67 per cent of respondents came away from the consultation event ‘very informed’ by Celtique’s proposals, with the rest ‘somewhat informed’.

“Now that the application has been submitted, we invite all members of the community who wish to make their views on our proposals known to get in touch with West Sussex County Council,” Mr Davis said.

“We will also continue to engage with and update local residents on the progress of the proposals in the coming months.”

The application can be viewed through WSCC’s website using the reference number WSCC/052/12/WC.