Fracking is not on the agenda, the council has confirmed.

A statement released by Essex County Council on Monday (August 6) states that there are no plans to drill for shale gas.

The declarations comes in the weeks after a government report which found local house prices and air pollution levels could rise as a result of fracking was published.

The government came under fire for quietly slipping the document onto the back pages of its air quality website, four days after ministers approved a fracking licence in Lancashire.

The Essex County Council statement reads: "The geology of Essex is such that it is highly unlikely that the process of drilling for shale gas will happen in our county.

"This position is supported by the latest gas and onshore oil licensing rounds which identified no proposed sites in or around the Essex area.

"As such, the County Council has no plans to pursue the matter with the Government."