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, the company has asked many Ryedale landowners for permission to undertake ‘seismic’ surveys - 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.”

An INEOS spokesman said: “INEOS is currently in the surveying stages of its work towards a flourishing shale industry in this country. At the moment we are having discussions with a number of landowners in Yorkshire around the surveying process but these are at an early stage.

“Shale, if successful, can bring competitively-priced energy, investment and manufacturing jobs to the north of England. Recent figures on jobs and investment estimate that the shale industry is expected to bring in £33 billion of investment into England alone over the next two decades.”

But the club’s 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.

“I also hope that this will also be a wake up call to those people who have felt that fracking is a countryside issue that won’t affect Norton. Make no mistake the industry is knocking on lots of doors locally. I would urge anyone who they approach to follow the club’s example and say no.”