Commercial shooting range plans refused

Planning matters ENGEMN00120140115084325
Planning matters ENGEMN00120140115084325

A commercial shooting range planned for the outskirts of a rural village has been refused by South Northants Council.

The application, for Staplegate Farm in Crowfield, five miles northeast of Brackley, had garnered more than 100 letters of opposition including Syresham Parish Council.

The parish council objected to the plans for seven shooting lanes, four metre high earth bunds and landscaping including three metre high fencing, on the grounds that it was too close to housing and a well-used ancient woodland, Whistler Wood.

Written submissions to SNC included concerns about the location, noise levels and safety for walkers using the neighbouring woodland.

In his proposal, applicant John Thorne said: “We will be creating a centre of excellence for the sport of target shooting which will bring visitors from across the UK and Europe to access.”

He had proposed to open the site one weekend a month and three days a week as a private commercial range and attract competition organisers to the facility.

According to planning documents, between four and six new jobs would have been created.

Associated administration needs would be housed in the existing commercial buildings on site, from which another business, Thorne Motorsport, is currently run.

SNC councillors were unanimous in their refusal of the application, agreeing with the planning officer’s recommendation that the development would have harmed the character and appearance of the immediate local landscape.

It was also considered that the artificial, engineered earth bunds would also be out of character.