Celtique Energie’s decision not to pursue planning applications at two sites in West Sussex, including one near Fernhurst in the South Downs National Park, has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth.

Commenting on the decision, Friends of the Earth south east campaigner Brenda Pollack said: “This is a tremendous victory for common sense, and yet another blow to the Coalition’s short-sighed fracking plans.

“Shale firms must take note of local people up and down the country who are rightly concerned about the impact of fracking on their communities and environment.

“Councillors in Lancashire must stand up for local people too, and reject Cuadrilla’s fracking plans when they are finally considered in a few weeks’ time.”