In what is hoped to be a landmark ruling, an application for exploratory drilling near Fernhurst, in the South Downs National Park, was unanimously rejected.
The National Park Authority concluded that there were no “exceptional circumstances” to justify drilling at Fernhurst, in line with a recommendation from its planning officials, who had taken legal advice.
The dispute centres on Government guidance issued in July, which said that unconventional oil and gas developments in national parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and World Heritage Sites “should be refused… other than in exceptional circumstances and in the public interest”.
More than 5,000 people had lodged objections to the application with SDNPA, with just 11 in favour.
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