A decision on whether to allow Cuadrilla to frack in Lancashire has been delayed by county councillors following the company’s plea earlier this month.
The fracking firm had submitted applications to explore for shale gas at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood.
Lancashire County Council planners had previously recommended rejecting the application due to concerns over excessive noise and traffic disruption.
County Councillor Munsif Dad, Chair of the Development Control Committee said: “During the meeting members heard legal advice that supported the request for deferral, which will enable time for consultation on the new information provided by the applicant.
“We will reconvene as soon as we can to consider the decisions in light of the new information when it is presented to the committee.”
Environmental groups expressed disappointment at the decision.
Friends of the Earth’s North West campaigner Helen Rimmer said: “While a further delay is another setback for Cuadrilla – its manipulation of the planning system has created more uncertainty for communities whose health and environment are at risk from controversial fracking.
“Lancashire council must resist Cuadrilla’s ploys to push fracking through and listen to the tens of thousands of voices of opposition and reject these plans. Failure to do so will leave Lancashire as the UK’s guinea pig for this unnecessary and polluting technology.”
Greenpeace UK energy and climate change campaigner Simon Clydesdale added the deferral is “just one more example of Cuadrilla’s agressive lobbying”.
The Government recently confirmed fracking will be banned in all national parks in the UK.