Anti-fracking campaigners were relieved to hear that the Environment Agency is now asking Cuadrilla Resources Limited to apply for waste permits.

Fracking firm Cuadrilla must obtain a mining waste permit and a radioactive substances permit before it can carry out test drilling at Balcombe in Sussex, according to the Environment Agency.

Brenda Pollack, south east regional campaigner said: “This is great news for local people, who will now have a further opportunity to give their views on Cuadrilla’s plans.

“Lobbying by residents and Friends of the Earth has clearly paid off, but these permits should have been compulsory from the start.

“People must be given information about these plans much more speedily – both Cuadrilla and the Environment Agency need to up their game."

A public consultation is now under way as Cuadrilla has applied to the Environment Agency for a mining waste permit.