MALTON and Norton Golf Club has rejected approaches by fracking company INEOS to carry out seismic testing on its land.

In a letter to members, the club committee revealed that it has been approached by FGP Ltd Chartered Surveyors - acting as agents on behalf of INEOS - but had turned down the £1,000 offer to conduct the test.

Over the last few months, many Ryedale landowners have been approached by the company requesting permission to undertake a seismic survey. Such a survey is designed to determine the presence of any shale gas deposits deep underground.

In a statement, the club said: “The Board of Directors at Malton and Norton Golf Club Ltd can confirm, the club has been approached by FGP Ltd, on behalf of INEOS Upstream Ltd, in regard to proposed geophysical surveys. The board has rejected this request on behalf of the members and is monitoring the situation closely. The directors wish to make no further comment at the present time.”

The move was welcomed by local anti-fracking groups. Campaigner Di Keal, who is also district and town councillor for Norton West where the golf club is situated, said: “I am delighted that the golf club has turned down the request and hope it will stick to its decision whatever further approaches are made by the industry.

“I also hope that this will also be a wake up call to all those people who have felt that fracking is a countryside issue that won’t affect Norton.

“I am appalled that INEOS think they can just come wading in to any local green space, including much used and valued leisure facilities like the Malton and Norton Golf Club.

“This is the preliminary work that paves the way for drilling wells, a heavily industrialised process, a huge increase in traffic movements – as if we don’t have enough problems with congestion and pollution in Norton already.

“Make no mistake the industry is knocking on lots of doors locally and I would urge anyone who they approach to follow the golf clubs example and say no.”

INEOS were approached for comment, but had not responded as the Gazette went to press.