WREXHAM: Appeal over refusal of shooting range plans is dismissed
AN APPEAL over the refusal of plans for two shooting ranges at a farm in Wrexham has been dismissed after neighbours complained about the noise.
The owner of Lodge Farm in Commonwood, near Holt, entered a retrospective application in 2019 to host the firing ranges in association with an existing gun shop at the site.
It followed a complaint being raised the previous year, which led to the discovery that both a rifle and clay pigeon shooting range were being operated at the farm without permission.
The proposals were later refused by Wrexham Council’s planning committee because of concerns about the disturbance to nearby residents.
Jonathan Tomlinson, who owns the farm, appealed to the Planning Inspectorate early last year after representatives argued it was appropriate for shooting activities to take place in a rural area.
They also highlighted previous comments from the local authority’s environmental health officer (EHO), who said noise levels from the ranges were “within the realms of acceptability”.
However, the appeal has now been dismissed by the inspector appointed to oversee the case as he said approving the proposals would have a “seriously detrimental impact” on neighbours.
In a decision notice issued after carrying out a visit to the site and neighbouring properties, Anthony Thickett said: “I am mindful of the EHO’s initial findings and recommendations with regard to the rifle range.
“I have considered the measures suggested by the appellant and the council including the grant of temporary planning permissions to enable those measures to be tested.
“However, I heard the noise made by moderated rifles, shots hitting a dampened target and the use of subsonic shells at the clay ground.
“I consider that the impact of the noise, combined with its startling and sporadic nature over a three or four hour period, six days a week would have a seriously detrimental impact on the living conditions of the occupiers of Ty Gollen (neighbouring house).
“For the reasons given above and having regard to all matters raised, I conclude that the appeals should be dismissed.”
Despite initially recommending that temporary planning permission should be granted for the ranges, the council later carried out noise tests near the farm.
Environmental health officer Andrew Jordan said one of the gunshots recorded outside a neighbour’s home was loud enough to make him jump.
He concluded the shooting would cause a nuisance if allowed to continue uncontrolled.
The appeal has now been dismissed after Mr Thickett agreed that refusing permission was justified.
Words: Liam Randall, Local Democracy Reporter
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