Celtique Energie is appealing to the Secretary of State against the refusal by West Sussex County Council in July 2014 of planning consent for a Shale Oil and Gas Exploration Well at Wisborough Green, West Sussex.

The application was for an Exploration Well (for a temporary period of 3 years) for Shale oil and gas exploration. The specific application proposals did not include hydraulic fracturing; there was a potential for future hydraulic fracturing at a new ell, but that would have required a further application at a later date.

The initial Exploration application was refused by West Sussex County Council on grounds including traffic impact, highway safety, effect on the village and Conservation Area of Wisborough Green, and consideration of alternative sites.

The applicant Celtique has described the reasons for refusal as “fundamentally unsound”.

The appeal to the Secretary of State will allow the reasons for refusal to be re-considered. It will be interesting to see if the decision also allows an opportunity to emphasise the need for exploration applications to be determined on their own merits without regard to the potential for future applications and processes.