Council set to rule on outdoor rifle range planning decision
A controversial planning application for an open-air rifle range in Ashford is due before council members for the second time.
The application for the new firing area at the Ashford and District Rifle Range, off Chart Road, first went to planning committee in September 2015.
It was deferred however following concerns over safety, noise pollution and the possible impact on the environment.
In addition, more than 60 letters were received by Ashford Borough Council objecting to the new centre.
The plans will be put to councillors again on Thursday, February 18, and for a second time officers have recommended that the application be approved.
In support of the development, the report for the site states: “The proposed rifle range has been discussed with, and the site visited by, the National Small-bore Rifle Association (NSRA), the governing body for small-bore rifle, airgun and crossbow target shooting in Great Britain.
“The f acility has been designed to comply with the current regulations and design standards.”
Conditions recommended by officers include restrictions on opening times, and that no external lighting be installed at the centre.
The report adds: “No shooting will occur on the external range after daylight hours. During winter months the external shooting activity will therefore be restricted by the shorter daylight hours.”
The Ashford and District Rifle Range, which has more than 100 members, sits within a triangle of land bounded by Chart Road, the A28 and the Great Chart recreation ground.
If the plans are approved next week, a new 50m Olympic-size outdoor firing range would be built at the club.
It would be under cover and enclosed by the existing single- storey building and by twometre high chain link fencing.
Noise mitigation measures include some backstop and noise barrier landscaping within the site.
The results of the meeting will be published in the Kentish Express.
What do you think? Write to Kentish Express, 34-36 North Street, Ashford, TN24 8JR or email kentishexpress@ thekmgroup.co.uk
Ashford and District Rifle Range, Chart Road, Great Chart