A DRAWN-OUT planning inquiry into a clay pigeon shooting club in Rixton has finally come to a close.

The ongoing dispute has been rumbling on for more than two years after a planning application was submitted back in 2011 to the council to build a shooting range and clubhouse at a site on Prospect Lane.

The plans were opposed by a number of residents including the chairman of the Nature Conservation Forum, Geoff Settle.

Speaking at the inquiry, Mr Settle said: “In our view, there is no public demand, need or necessity in the area for this intrusive development.

Warrington Borough Council and this inquiry have an obligation to protect these important SSSI and local wildlife sites and I ask you to find in favour of keeping it that way.”

Peter Goatley, speaking on behalf of Prospect Target Club, argued that there was a demand for the sport and the shooting club could potentially train the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians.

Planning inspector Martin Joyce, who headed the inquiry at The Halliwell Jones, spent the final day visiting the site at Prospect Farm as well as other sites in Birchwood and Gorse Covert, which had been highlighted by residents during their evidence.

The verdict will be returned in the coming months.