A planning application submitted by Loughbrickland Rifle and Pistol Club for a shooting range in Dromara, has been meet with 23 objections.
The application which was set for approval before last night’s meeting of Banbridge District Council, is for the erection of a 100 metre shooting range, target storage shed and 30 space car park at 550 metres north east of number 2 Dechomet Road, Kilkinamurry Road.
The implications of noise from the shooting range is a major concern for residents in the area.
In a letter to planners one resident wrote: “We cannot understand that you don’t have any concerns arising from the proposed development. Are you saying that the noise isn’t going to travel any further than the 500m radius? The range alone is 100m long.”
Another concern of the resident is the welfare of rare birds and wild animals. He asked planning officials: “How on earth do you think the red kites, buzzards and other wild animals are going to hatch out their eggs?
“Once shooting commences, the birds will leave their nests and the eggs will go cold. Even thunder can disturb resting birds. We had a bantam clocking on six eggs and unfortunately there was thunder and the eggs didn’t hatch. When we broke open the eggs the chicks had all died.”
The concerned resident outlined concerns for the opening hours proposed for the business. He wrote: “This shooting is going to take place until 10pm, twice a week and every Saturday from - 9am-5pm. The car park is to accommodate 30 cars - if every car had only two people, that would be 60 guns shooting continually for three days each week.
“How on earth could the red-kites, buzzards and other wild birds manage to hatch out their eggs?”
He added: “A few years ago, a local group reared pheasants and when they had a shoot, a local farmer had all his ewes aborted.
“That is how serious this matter is.
“How on earth is anyone going to be able to police this operation?”