It allows the company to address a ‘last minute’ request from the Environment Agency (EA) which wanted new site specific data to confirm the validity of the application’s groundwater risk assessment.
The company noted that it would now progress the acquisition of hydrogeological data over and around the proposed Markwells Wood drilling pad.
A new application will be resubmitted later this year, following the data acquisition and once ongoing technical discussions with the EA are complete.
UKOG noted that prior to withdrawing the planning application it had tried to arrange for the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) to delay a determination by its planning committee, from a proposed date of May 11 to July 13, which the company says would’ve allowed the ongoing processes with the EA to be concluded.
“Whilst the refusal of SDNPA to accommodate this important step is somewhat unsatisfactory, we look forward to concluding this matter with the EA and resubmitting the application as soon as practicable,” said Stephen Sanderson, UKOG executive chairman.
“Our target of drilling Markwells Wood by Q2 2019 is unlikely to be affected."
UKOG added that it now intends to take the opportunity to apply for a full EA permit covering the first phase of the proposed Markwells Wood development (rather than simply the well) and it anticipates that it will include the broader application as part of the resubmission of planning documents.