Clay shooting range to be opposed by community council

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Residents opposed to the siting of a clay pigeon shooting range between Newton Stewart and Wigtown turned out in force on Monday to seek support from a community council in opposing the plans.

Cree Valley Community Council in Newton Stewart was joined by 10 neighbours of the proposed site off the A714 at Causeway End who strongly objected to the location of the range, but were at pains to stress they weren’t against the idea.

The home of Shirley Cannon, who was nominated as spokesperson for the group, is just several hundred metres from the field in question, where shooting has already taken place and she spoke of her discomfort each time a shot is fired.

She said: “I can feel each reverberation go up through my feet from inside my home. It really is awful - we’ll not get outside all summer if this goes ahead.

“No one is against the idea, just the location. This isn’t a ‘not in my back yard’ issue we have - it just wouldn’t be right in any community of 42 houses.”

The hope is that the business, headed up by landowner Nancy McCreath who was invited to attend the meeting but didn’t show up, would be open three days a week and would be operational for four hours each day.

Mrs Cannon added that deer and owls have vanished from the site and that her dog “goes mad” when shooting begins.

Councillor Tom Greenaway agreed that the shots could scare away wildlife and pointed out that the Bishop Burn, which runs through the land, could be considered as wetland and therefore would be subject to certain restrictions regarding lead discharge.

He said: “The presence of the public who have turned up gives an idea of the strength of opposition to these plans. There are so many issues against it, I don’t really know how it’s managed to get this far.”

The council agreed to submit an objection to the planning authority based on the dangers to wildlife, humans and pets, and also pollution fears from lead pellets.