Burnham-On-Sea Rifle Club’s plans to build a new extension to its centre in the town, adding a new 25m air rifle shooting range, have this week been supported by town councillors.

The club, based in Burnham’s Cassis Close, has applied for full planning permission to build an extension to the south of its current building, as reported here.

At a meeting of the Town Council’s planning applications committee this week, the proposals were supported by councillors.

The club says: “Our existing property was built in the 1970s and currently consists of a 25m firing range, a 50m firing range, a clubroom and toilets. The proposal is to construct a new extension to the side of the existing property to house an air rifle range to try and attract the youth of the community to take up the sport of shooting at a more economic cost. The new extension will house a 25m air rifle range.”

Cllr Andy Brewer told this week’s meeting: “This is slightly emotive given that gun crime is on the increase. We take it very seriously, but I have heard a number of good reports about the club. My personal view is that if it’s done legally and in a controlled way then it reduces any temptation for people to do it in an uncontrolled way.”

Cllr Bill Hancock added: “This is not a new club – it has been going for years. We have never had any problems with them before. They are seeking an extension to get more young members and to use guns in a responsible way – I think it’s good and we should support them.”

Cllr Louise Parkin added: “I think it gives a sense of responsibility to users and help them to understand the dangers of guns, so I have no objections whatsoever.”

And Cllr Julie Flurry added: “It’s a rural area that we live in and educating users to use guns responsibly and in a controlled environment is positive.”

Councillors supported the application on the basis that it will encourage responsible use of guns in a controlled way, subject to following all legal and safety compliance.

The final decision on the application, ref 11/21/00058, will be decided by Sedgemoor District Council.

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