Energy firm Cuadrilla has said it "looks forward" to presenting its shale gas exploration plans in Lancashire to secretary of state for communities and local government Greg Clark.
Clark informed Lancashire county council yesterday of his plans to use "recovery" procedures to decide on the outcome of an appeal over fracking at two sites in the area.
Usually, planning permission would be given by a local planning inspector, but in a letter yesterday Clark said the proposals amount to a "development of major importance having more than local significance".
"The monitoring appeals are being considered at the same time as the drilling appeals and will be most efficiently and effectively determined by the secretary of state."
Cuadrilla suffered a setback in June this year when its plans to frack at sites in Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road, which had been recommended for approval, were rejected by a planning committee on the grounds of impact to landscape and noise.
Yesterday Cuadrilla said it will present its appeal next year.
“We note the decision of the secretary of state for communities and local government to decide the appeals after the Planning Inspector has conducted the Public Inquiry and produced a report and recommendations. This is part of the long established planning process and we look forward to presenting our case at the Public Inquiry commencing in February.”