The pressure group had wanted to question, in court, the Government's decision to grant licences for exploration and production on a region known as the Atlantic Frontier. Greenpeace would have argued that the Government had failed to comply with a European law to protect rare and unusual natural habitats, including ones on the seabed. It was seeking leave for a judicial review.
But after a three-day hearing last month Mr Justice Laws, sitting at Teeside Crown Court, said yesterday that he was rejecting the application because it should have been made sooner after the decision.
Greenpeace said it would consider alternative tactics including an appeal, complaining to the European Commission and launching legal actions when the Government granted future licences.
Meanwhile a French court rejected a lawsuit by Greenpeace accusing France's state owned nuclear firm Cogema of dumping radioactive waste in the sea off northern France.
- Nicholas SchoonReuse content