09:00PM, Thursday 14 January 2021
An appeal to save Maidenhead Target Shooting Club has failed – on the grounds that its new site plans would cause ‘demonstrable harm’ to the greenbelt.
The shooting club has been located at Braywick Park for more than 50 years but had to move, due to plans to develop the new home for Forest Bridge School on this site.
It made an application to relocate to greenbelt land in Stroud Farm field, west of Oak Tree Farm in Gays Lane in December 2018.
Plans included a car park, clubhouse, toilets and shooting stands with access via Green Lane.
The plans were rejected by the council in October 2019. An appeal was submitted a year later in October last year with a virtual hearing set in November.
This was the club’s ‘last hoorah’ – but its appeal has now been dismissed.
Planning inspector Nick Davies said that, although certain allowances can be made for land changes for outdoor recreation, the proposal ‘is not limited to a material change in the use of the land.’
“The development would involve the provision of buildings of a significant scale where there are currently none,” Mr Davies wrote in his report.
“These would be widely visible from surrounding footpaths, resulting in harm to the visual openness of the greenbelt.
“Furthermore, the development would encroach into open countryside. As a result, the proposal would not preserve the openness of the greenbelt.
“In view of the scale of the buildings, their spread, and their visibility from a wide area, the harm to the openness of the greenbelt would be demonstrable.”
It is feared that the shooting club, which is over a century old, will now be lost as a result.
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