TESTS to see whether the area around Glazebury, Astley Moss and up to Boothstown could hold shale gas have been cancelled.

Tesla, the company due to conduct the testing on behalf of IGas – which could have brought the highly controversial process of fracking to the area – has written to Warrington and Wigan Councils to inform them it will not be running the tests.

A Wigan Council spokesman confirmed the company had decided not to proceed with its seismic survey and it would have to re-submit its notification should it want to proceed in the future.

It stressed that it was not something that it could approve or deny, but just had to be notified of.

The letter to Warrington Council said: “IGas Energy PLC has made the decision not to proceed with the seismic survey as detailed and confirmed under said notification, until such time as a full and complete interpretation of data acquired from its recently drilled Barton Moss exploration well has been concluded.”

The councils were informed in May that they would be carrying out a ‘three dimensional seismic survey’, which also covered parts of Warrington, Salford and Trafford and were expected to start in the autumn.

Known as a seismic investigation, the survey work could have involved some holes being drilled to a maximum depth of six metres but not the kind of high-level drilling tests seen in other areas.

At the time, IGas said it had not asked for the seismic tests to be carried out.

The threat of potential works in the area, which is close to Barton Moss where IGas has been conducting studies, caused outrage.