Fracking incentive money ‘should and would not’ be considered stress West Sussex County Council

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) says it ‘should and would not’ consider any funding in relation to hydraulic fracturing - known as fracking.

Tuesday, 14th January 2014, 11:01 am
Over one hundred villagers from Kirdford and Wisborough Green, Sussex where Centrique plan exploratory drillng for oil and gas joined to march against the proposal today (Sunday) ***Pic by David Mchugh 07768 721637***

It comes after the Government announcement to allow all business rates associated to fracking to be paid to councils.

Meanwhile, an energy company which plans to drill near Kirdford and Wisborough Green says it welcomes the plan.

Earlier this week David Cameron said English local authorities would receive all the business rates collected from shale gas schemes - rather than the usual 50 per cent.

In a visit to a Lincolnshire fracking site, he predicted the process could support 74,000 jobs and reduce bills.

Mr Cameron’s announcement on business rates came as French company Total confirmed plans to invest about £30m to help drill two exploratory wells in Lincolnshire. It is the first major energy firm to invest in fracking in the UK.

But today (Tuesday January 14)West Sussex County Council stressed: “It is very important that local authorities like West Sussex maintain the independence and integrity of the planning application process, and any funding in relation to fracking should and would not be a consideration.”

However, Celtique Energie, which submitted a planning application for a temporary well site on land near Kirdford and Wisborough Green in September last year, said it welcomes the announcement.

The firm’s CEO Geoff Davies said: “Celtique’s current proposed wells in West Sussex are exploration wells and we are not currently seeking planning approval to undertake hydraulic fracturing in any of these wells.

“However, if these early wells provide positive log and core data sufficient to warrant Celtique to propose and obtain planning approval for hydraulic fracturing operations in the future, as a UKOOG member we will of course happily agree to join the community benefits package currently going through consultation.

“We also welcome the government announcement to allow all business rates associated with hydraulic fracturing well sites to be paid to the local council because this will ultimately benefit the local people hosting these activities.”