The Scottish Government has recalled two planning appeals for the production of coalbed methane in central Scotland.
Ministers will now take the decision over Dart Energy’s appeal for the proposed development of coalbed methane production at a number of sites in the Falkirk and Stirling Council areas.
Planning minister Derek Mackay said: “The decision has been taken in light of the considerable public interest in the proposals, as well as its relevance to the implementation of the new recently updated Scottish Planning Policy.
“Scottish Ministers therefore believe there is a national interest that would be best served by further scrutiny of these proposals.”
A Friends of the Earth spokesperson said: “Scotland does not need unconventional gas to meet our energy needs, and extracting and burning it will jeopardise our climate targets and expose local people to unacceptable health risks.
“We urge the Scottish Government to take a truly cautious approach by turning down this application and introducing an immediate moratorium on all unconventional gas activity.”