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Controversial plans to open a clay pigeon shooting club rumble on
10:00am Sunday 8th December 2013 in News
THERE were sighs of frustration when a controversial inquiry into a planning application to open a clay pigeon shooting club close to Risley Moss was adjourned until next year.
The three day planning inquiry was due to finish on Thursday at the Town Hall but the planning inspector was forced to add further dates in January after cross-examination and questioning took longer than expected.
This has come as a devastating blow to residents, who have been campaigning against the proposal since the planning application was submitted in 2011.
Prospect Target Club is seeking planning permission to open the shooting facilities at Prospect Farm on Prospect Lane after the application was turned down by Warrington Borough Council planning committee in February.
Speaking on the third day of the inquiry, Clr Russ Bowden, who strongly opposes the plan, called the appellant’s plans as ‘wholly inappropriate’, stating that there was ‘no clear and demonstrable need for these facilities’.
He added that the appellant’s argument that the noise would not be a nuisance or cause harm was ‘flawed logic’.
He argued that a bird survey by the appellant had been conducted at the wrong time and that ‘any gun club would cause significant and permanent damage to Risley Moss’ and a number of protective bird species.
Deborah Copsey, of Holly Bush Lane, felt optimistic after three days of cross examination and evidence.
She said: “I have lived here all my life and I am the fifth generation of my family to do so. I care and am passionate about the area.
“There is a tranquillity that I have always enjoyed about living here and that will be destroyed if they are given permission to open it.”
Geoff Settle, chairman of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum, claims the appellant is unaware of the ‘destructive impact’ the shooting club will have because they do not have any ‘local knowledge of the area’.
He added: “I would suggest that you also need the day to day knowledge and life experience to appreciate the significance of the area to the community and how important it is to protect and not destroy what exists.”
The inquiry will resume on January 14 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
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