Shooting school aims for expansion
A TOP clay pigeon shooting school based in north Suffolk will fly a balloon in a bid to get the go-ahead for an important addition to its facilities.High Lodge Shooting School, based at Haw Wood, Hinton, near Halesworth, was recently voted top clay pigeon shooting grounds in the country by a national specialised magazine.
A TOP clay pigeon shooting school based in north Suffolk will fly a balloon in a bid to get the go-ahead for an important addition to its facilities.
High Lodge Shooting School, based at Haw Wood, Hinton, near Halesworth, was recently voted top clay pigeon shooting grounds in the country by a national specialised magazine.
Former clay pigeon shooting world champion John Bidwell is proud of the school's achievements but believes they can be improved still further.
In September last year the school applied to Suffolk Coastal District Council to build a 36.5 metre high tower in the grounds to allow clays to be released at different heights.
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Members of the council's north area development control sub-committee rejected the proposal.
"The proposed tower, by reason of its height and form, would be unduly intrusive within the countryside and would have an adverse impact on the landscape to the detriment of rural and visual amenity," said committee.
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The sub-committee members also felt the tower would be out of character and have a major impact on the surrounding landscape.
The school has re-submitted its original application and is also offering to give councillors an idea of the impact the tower will have by having a tethered balloon flying at the same height as the tower.
"We believe we need a tower like this to maintain and enhance our business as one of the premier grounds in the United Kingdom," said Mr Bidwell.
Councillors are meeting at Woodbridge on Wednesday, July 23, when they are being recommended to visit the shooting school to see the balloon and get an idea of the impact the tower will have.
They could then discuss the application when they meet at the end of August.
Because of the proposed height of the tower representatives of parish councils at nearby Thorington, Darsham and Blythburgh are also likely to be invited to the demonstration.
"Officers have advised on an informal, without prejudice basis, that having assessed the proposed siting again as well as considering alternative locations/options, and set against the economic/business/recreation arguments, a carefully sited tower may not have such a level of impact in the landscape as to be unacceptable.
"The landscape is open with mainly only distant views of the site being available," says a report going to district councillors on the development control sub-committee.
High Lodge is an important recreational facility in north Suffolk and as well as the clay pigeon shooting school also provides holiday lodges, a fishing lake, a nine-hole pay-and-play golf course, and a bar and restaurant complex.