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Planners approve expansion of weapons testing range near Presteigne

01 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Radnor Range – where the building would be built.

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

A weapons testing range near Presteigne will be able to expand, after plans for a new indoor shooting facility were approved by Powys County Council planners.

The Ministry of Defence-accredited Radnor Range Ltd tests and evaluates weapons, ordnance, munitions, and explosives at Harley Dingle near New Radnor.

Charles Bromage of Ravenscar Estates who own the site, lodged plans with the council back in March for a new “ballistic test facility building, bund and associated works.”

This proposal is for a new indoor test facility building to allow weapons to be assessed against an array of targets in a technically controlled and safe environment.

The building will be L-shaped and 33metres width by 9.86metres at the shortest point stretching to 13.4m at the longest point, would be cut into the bank and have a bund to the rear and sides which would be formed with excavated soil.

An objection to the proposal was lodged and gave a number of reasons including noise, highways issues and against the principle of armaments testing.

Danger area

Planning officer, Lorraine Jenkin said: “This application site is within the 500-hectare danger area of the registered Radnor Range, in the valley of Harley Dingle, some two kilometres north-west of the village of New Radnor.

“It is accessed by a private track to the main A44 trunk road.

“Harley Dingle has been used as a testing, evaluation and training facility focused around weapons, ordnance, munitions and explosives since the early 20th century.

“The proposed is on the valley floor of Harley Dingle and is within an obvious compound alongside other buildings and storage facilities.

“The whole section of Radnor Range is a formal MOD Danger Area, and therefore is not available for members of the public to access.

“Considering that the proposal is within an existing compounded area with a cluster of other buildings and storage facilities, coupled with the fact that the nearest public viewing point is 400 metres from the site, it is considered that the proposed development would not have an unacceptable adverse effect on the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“In conclusion, it is considered that the proposal is a well-designed scheme in terms of design, location and congruency within the site.

“The proposal is on an existing military testing range, and therefore the use of the site will not be changing. “

Ms Jenkin went on approve the proposal.

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