Developers have decided not to push ahead with a controversial port expansion in north Queensland, citing a downturn in the coal market.

A major north Queensland coal project will no longer go ahead due to a downturn in the coal market.

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBPC) announced on Friday it had requested Queensland’s coordinator general cancel the declaration of the Dudgeon Point Coal Terminals Project as a coordinated project.

A drop in coal prices caused the project to be paused in 2013 and means an environmental impact statement won’t be able to be submitted by its June 21 deadline.

“Although this particular development proposal will be withdrawn, it does not necessarily indicate

that expansion to the coal export facilities will not be required at the Port of Hay Point in the

future,” NQBPC CEO Brad Fish said in a statement.

Nevertheless, the news is being celebrated by green groups, who describe it as a victory for “people power”.

“We’ve been concerned since 2010, when this project was first proposed, about what the impact of a coal terminal would be on the health of local residents and the Great Barrier Reef,” Communities Protecting Our Region spokesman Gordon Johnson said.

Mr Johnson said the project would have made it impossible for him to remain in nearby suburb McEwens Beach.

“We would have sold up as many others have in towns close to coal ports,” Mr Johnson said.

“We’re thankful this didn’t happen to us.”

The bulk port project, which would have had the capacity to export up to 180 million tonnes of coal each year, was being developed by Indian group Adani and Canada’s Brookfield.

Australian Marine Conservation Society spokeswoman Felicity Wishart said the development proposed the dredging of 14 million cubic metres of seabed to be dumped into the Great Barrier Reef’s waters.

“(It) would have doubled the amount of shipping in the region,” she said.

Ms Wishart called on the ports corporation to rule out any future development, dredging and dumping at Dudgeon Point to give the community greater certainty.