Shooting club near Taverham likened to “war-zone” succeeds in bid to amend hours
- Credit: Steve Adams
A former police firing range near Taverham has won a bid to amend its weekend shooting hours despite being described as a 'war-zone'.
Mid Norfolk Shooting Club at Attlebridge, which has been subject of an enforcement notice and noise abatement notice in the past, was taken on by new management in June 2015 by Churchills Ltd.
The company then sought to amend the operating hours to 'broaden its appeal, membership and offer the ability to host high quality competitions'.
A report from the environmental health officer stated he 'had to view any increase in shooting hours as a virtual breach of the abatement notice'.
After months of negotiations officers agreed a solution to end shooting on Mondays and reduce the number of open practice hours during the week but also extend the weekend provision.
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And despite complaints from all five local parish councils, and neighbours to the site at Deighton Hills, Broadland District Council's planning committee approved the plans yesterday.
Roger Morriss, of Taverham Parish Council, told members an amendment to conditions allowing up to eight shooters per instructor for one-to-one sessions was a 'total abuse' of the interpretation.
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Neighbour Neil Brummage, of Heathwood, told the meeting noise readings he had taken from his property regularly exceeded 80 decibels, far above the legal limit of 65.
'The current owners knew what the rules were, and if they were not convinced they should not have bought it,' he said.
'This rides roughshod over the needs and rights of other residents.'
Andrew Mallett, for Taverham North ward, said the frequency of shooting was 'shocking' and voted against the scheme.
'The nearest thing you could liken it to is a war-zone,' he said. 'It is like a gun fight. I think long-term exposure to that would be very detrimental to your health.'
Lana Hempsall, for Acle ward, moved a motion to approve the plan. She said shooting can be 'an emotive subject', and that members should set aside their preconceptions of the sport.
The application was passed by a vote of 12 to 3.