Posted: Tue 14th Jan 2020

Appeal launched over refusal of plans to create firing range at Wrexham farm for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jan 14th, 2020

An appeal has been launched after plans to run a firing range from a farm in Wrexham were rejected over noise concerns.

The owner of Lodge Farm in Commonwood, near Holt, entered a retrospective planning application last year to host a rifle shooting range in association with an existing gun shop at the site.

The facility had already been open since March 2018, but needed consent from Wrexham Council to continue operating.

However, the proposals were refused by planning committee members in June following complaints about the disturbance to neighbours, while a separate application for a clay pigeon range was turned down for similar reasons.

Mr JF Tomlinson, who owns the farm, has now launched an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to have both decisions overturned.

It comes after representatives acting on his behalf claimed shooting activities were appropriate in a rural area.

In a statement, Suzanne Tucker from FDC Mandby Bowdler solicitors, said: “In refusing permission for the rifle application, the committee went against the recommendation of their professional officers.

“The refusal reason pertaining to noise refers to the frequency of gunshots as being of constant source of irritation.

“The committee in reaching this conclusion failed to have proper regard to the expert evidence submitted for the applicant and failed to consider appropriate conditions that would mitigate the impact.

“The provision of clay pigeon and rifle shooting facilities complements the existing Field and Falcon business operating at the property and are appropriate in this rural location.

“They will support the gunsmith activity, whilst also providing an outdoor recreation use for the local and wider community.”

The council carried out noise tests near the farm in April 2019 following complaints raised by residents.

Environmental health officer Andrew Jordan said one of the gunshots recorded outside a neighbour’s property was loud enough to make him jump.

He concluded the shooting would cause a nuisance if allowed to continue uncontrolled.

But Ms Tucker said it would not have been possible for him to identify the source of the noise.

The appeal will be heard by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.

*Picture – Planning Documents

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme)

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