LEADING Frack Free Fernhurst (FFF) campaigner Marcus Adams said he was ‘over the moon’ in the wake of news Celtique Energie has abandoned its fight for permission to drill for oil in the area.
Speaking from Kyoto, Japan Mr Adams said: “I have spoken to other FFF campaigners this morning and we are all delighted and very pleased for the Kirdford and Wisborough Green campaigners because that news was very unexpected to us and them.
“It reiterates what we have been saying all along that both these sites are completely unsuitable for a whole raft of reasons.”
He said he believed the news signalled the end of any oil company’s aspirations to drill in national parks in the UK and other areas of special landscape.
“It is clear the government is still desperate to get the shale industry going in the country but I think the industry itself is waking up to the fact that they won’t get permission in areas as sensitive as Fernhurst.
“As our MP Andrew Tyrie said many months ago, Fernhurst, in the heart of the South Downs National Park, is not the place for an industrial experiment of this particular nature.”
Looking back of the successful anti fracking campaigns in both Fernhurst and Wisborough Green he said: “What is interesting is that both have been conducted in a mature, legal way. They have not been led by shouting, tree hugging hippies, but by ordinary people with enormous support from their communities and they have proved a force to be reckoned with.”
Celtique Energie announced last night (March 11) it was withdrawing its appeal against West Sussex County Council’s refusal of permission to drill at Kirdford and Wisborough Green, just outside the national park.
And the company said it would not be lodging an appeal against the South Downs National Park’s refusal for drilling at Fernhurst.
However, Celtique has the go ahead for exploratory drilling at Billinghurst where work is expected to start in the next few weeks.
It reiterates what we have been saying all along that both these sites are completely unsuitable for a whole raft of reasonsMarcus Adams, founding FFF campaigner
Although the plan is to drill conventionally, Billingshurst villagers fear they also face the threat of fracking and are launching their Frack Free Billingshurst campaign on Sunday (March 15).