Cuadrilla has confirmed its decision to pull out of one of its potential fracking sites in Lancashire.
The shale gas company said it has decided not to progress its planning at the Anna’s Road site near Westby – 12 minutes from Blackpool – due to “technical constraints related to wintering birds”.
It will now be working to restore the site to its former condition, however, it is assessing other options for shale gas exploration wells.
Chief Executive Francis Egan said: “We’re looking at a number of possible locations and have decided to rule out Anna’s Road so we can focus on other sites, which we believe show greater potential at this time.
“We are continuing our site selection assessment and will continue to keep local communities fully informed and engage with them on our plans as they develop.”
The news comes as a huge relief to environmental groups who have been protesting against the controversial drilling technique but believe the “threat” still remains.
Friends of the Earth’s North West Campaigner Helen Rimmer said: “Cuadrilla may have pulled the plug on one of its Lancashire sites but the fracking threat has not gone away – the firm still plans to drill shale gas wells at other sites across the county.
“There’s huge local opposition to David Cameron’s plans to make Blackpool the fracking capital of Europe. With experts warning that shale gas won’t lead to cheaper fuel bills and fresh scientific warnings about impact of fossil fuels on our climate, we need new solutions to Britain’s energy challenges.”
British Gas owner Centrica bought a 25% stake in the Lancashire field to explore shale gas earlier this year.