Application for oil extraction at Markwells Wood withdrawn

11th May 2017

UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) has written to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) to withdraw their application to drill for oil at Markwells Wood – due to be heard at committee on 11th May 2017.

Since UKOG submitted their application in September 2016 for drilling for oil in the South Downs National Park, over 2,000 individuals and organisations have objected to their plans. Objections came from statutory consultees— the Environment Agency, Portsmouth Water, West Sussex Highways and Hampshire County Council Highways – along with numerous environmental organisations, including CPRE Sussex.  We objected to the application because we believe it has the potential to cause considerable environmental harm, which would outweigh any possible benefit.

We anticipated that the SDNP officers were going to recommend refusal of the application following these objections. UKOG have stated that “Given the potential sensitivity of the Markwells Wood site to the adjacent chalk groundwater system, it is in the public interest that this subject be investigated as thoroughly as possible prior to any further site activity.“ Their concerns about “the public interest” come rather late in the day. It is very probable that UKOG will submit a new application in the near future.