Planning officers have granted consent for shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources to explore for gas at its site at Preston New Road, Lancashire, but recommended that plans for another site in the area be rejected because it would cause too much traffic.

This is another twist in the long-running battle to obtain permits to drill, fracture and flow test up to four well at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. In January, planning officers recommended that both the applications be refused.

In a statement, Cuadrilla said it was “pleased” that Lancashire County Council’s planning officers have recommended that the Councils’ Development Control Committee grant planning consent for its application at Preston New Road.

It added: "In January 2015, officers recommended refusal at Preston New Road only on grounds of night-time noise and we duly submitted additional information on mitigation measures, which was publicly consulted on, to further bring down noise levels well below limits set out in government guidance.

"We note that, as in January, the planning officer’s report is satisfied with all other aspects of the planning applications, in particular with regard to drilling and fracking. These include air quality, archaeology and cultural heritage, greenhouse gas emissions, community & socio-economics, ecology, hydrogeology & ground gas, induced seismicity (including subsidence), land use, landscape and visual amenity, lighting, resources and waste, water resources and public health.

"For our application at Roseacre Wood we supplied additional information regarding traffic routes which we and our expert advisers believe addressed issues which were raised in the officer’s report in January. Whilst we remain confident that our original proposed route was adequate, the alternative route suggested also met with all necessary guidelines in our view.

"We are disappointed that officers do not support this in their negative recommendation today; however we are pleased to note that as with Preston New Road, they are satisfied with all other aspects of the Roseacre Wood planning applications."