Tell West Sussex Council : drilling for oil and gas is the wrong move

Posted by Lawrence Carter — 2 December 2013 at 12:58pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: © Steve Morgan / Greenpeace

Please write to West Sussex County Council and tell them to refuse permission for Celtique to explore for oil and gas in Wisborough Green. If hundreds of us raise our objections, the council will have to consider them - we hope they will see sense and turn down the application.

Here's how to lodge your objection to the drilling application:

Go to the council's website here and fill in the online form. The page you'll see should look like this and you can submit the form by clicking on the red highlighted bits: 

You can also email the council directly:

Make sure you quote the reference number: WSCC/083/13/KD

Suggested points you can make in your objection email:

  • Whilst Celtique Energie are saying they are not intending to frack at this stage, it is clear that if they do find gas or oil they will want to frack the site to make it economic to extract. This is not to mention the dozens of other sites they will want to exploit within their licence blocks. This is the thin edge of the wedge. Apparently the Council have said they will not count any objections that refer to fracking. We think this is short-sighted and that the council ought to think about the long-term implications of such an application and the future context.
  • Drilling for hard-to-reach fossil fuels in the Sussex countryside is madness: for the climate, for the local environment and for Sussex communities. Not only will this potential operation see the village of Wisborough Green inundated with trucks and drilling rigs for the next three years, it will also play a role in undermining the growth of the UK's clean energy industries.
  • If we are to have any chance of stopping catastrophic climate change, we need to leave these fossil fuels in the ground and invest in clean, renewable energy instead. There is simply no justification for drilling for oil and gas in Sussex.
  • The International Energy Agency warn that most of the gas we've already found should stay in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. The Council has a moral duty to future generations to ensure that this gas is not exploited so that it is not responsible for exacerbating climate change.
  • Wisborough Green and Kirdford are quiet rural villages in beautiful countryside. This application would industrialise the area – filling lanes with lorries, with related air and noise pollution, as well as increasing the risk of road accidents for local school children.
  • The drilling operation could lead to flaring – which would have an adverse effect on local air pollution, not to mention increased greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The site is in the feeding flight line of the Barbastelle Bat – the rarest European bat. The same is true for Barn Owls, Tawny owls (who need darkness to hunt) and other rare birds and wildlife also live close to the site. The combination of unusual light at night and the noise from the gas flare during the day will upset the natural environment and could drive such wildlife away – permanently. This important wildlife must be protected.

Please do share any responses you get from the council in the comments section below.


Celtique Energie, a privately owned company, has applied to drill for gas and oil in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. If this application is successful then the drilling rigs could move into place early next year. Celtique is looking to get a foothold in Sussex and if its plans for Wisborough Green are allowed to go ahead, we could see wider industrialisation of the Sussex countryside.

But it's not too late to stop this. We're already encouraging landowners to join a legal block to stop the drilling. And there are two days left to send in objections to West Sussex County Council. 

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