Podimore Shooting Ground refused approval to extend opening hours by South Somerset District Council

Shooting in the south west was dealt another blow last week when South Somerset District Council refused to approve Podimore Shooting Ground’s request to extend its opening hours by two hours.

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The main reason for its refusal is that: “the application failed to demonstrate that the proposed extension to permitted shooting hours would not be detrimental to the residential amenity of local settlements and dwellings in terms of noise and disturbance.”

Many local residents objected to the idea, with one in particular saying: “The affect the shoot is having on our lives is currently massive. On competition days we normally leave our property for the day as at times we have heard as many as 1 shot per second for many hours, war zones would be more peaceful.”

Clay Shooting magazine wrote to the council in support of Podimore’s application, and others contacted South Somerset to help, including Mr AG Huggard, who said: “The Ground has strictly enforced rules over the cartridges that can be fired (those louder than the norm are banned)… Noise pollution is therefore minimal – less than a football match probably and it is hard to hear the shots from nearby locations over the roar of road and air traffic.”

The Ministry of Defence had no objections, and it seems a document from the Enviromental Health Protection Unit didn’t help when it said the department had been in discussions with the ground and said: “During the pre-application discussions the applicant agreed to conduct and submit and [sic] noise assessment to determine the likely impact on surrounding settlements and nearby dwellings. It is my understanding that this assessment has not been submitted.”

Podimore can appeal the decision, and we hope, if the ground goes ahead with the appeal, that there is a better outcome.

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