Indoor shooting range in Northamptonshire village granted planning permission

Nine new indoor shooting ranges near Syresham have been given planning permission by councillors.

Silverstone Shooting Centre had applied to build the ranges on agricultural land, about 450 metres to the west of the village of Crowfield, and adjacent to its existing shooting range.

The application was approved by the South Northamptonshire Council planning committee, just five years after it had refused the application for the current shooting range. That refusal was eventually overturned by a planning inspector.

Syresham Parish Council had already objected to this latest scheme, saying: “The development is in open countryside and the parish council is concerned about the adverse aesthetic and noise impact on the local environment, especially to Whistley Wood and neighbouring properties.”

But the owner of the shooting centre, John Thorne, told councillors that the site had operated for years without a single complaint.

Speaking at the planning meeting at Towcester Town Hall on Thursday (June 13), he said: “Since the successful planning appeal we have designed and built one of the most sophisticated target ranges in Europe. We have created six jobs, contributed revenue to the local economy and have had competitors visiting from all over the world.

“We have fired hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammo, and we have done all this without a single complaint being made about us. The noise we make has been minimised, and we want to maintain that record.

“The creation of these indoor ranges will continue our record of being a quiet operator, and this investment of £1.5million will create six new jobs too.

“We have proven ourselves to not only be good neighbours, but also contributors to the public purse.”

The proposed operating hours for the indoor ranges would be from 10am until 5pm from Monday to Saturday, with no shooting on Bank or Public holidays.

Despite defending their stance from five years ago, councillors on the planning committee confessed that they could see no basis on which they could reject this new application.

Councillor Steven Hollowell said: “I remember five years ago visiting the site. We didn’t really like the application, but the inspector didn’t agree with us. This time around, I think it would be perverse of us not to support it.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story carried an image not connected to the story. The image was taken at the On Target shooting range in Brackmills, Northampton. We apologise for the error.