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Ashford and District Rifle Club expansion plan can finally happen after Ashford Borough Council approval

By Charlie Harman

Plans to extend and upgrade a firing range to Olympic standard can finally come to fruition - despite a complaint from a concerned resident.

The Ashford and District Rifle Club first proposed a 50m outdoor small bore target range off Chart Road in 2013.

Planning permission was gained in 2016 from Ashford Borough Council but the scheme required the use of a council-owned parcel of land adjoining the range, meaning a public consultation was needed before it was disposed of.

Ashford and District Rifle Club in Chart Road. Picture: Matt Bristow
Ashford and District Rifle Club in Chart Road. Picture: Matt Bristow

The concerned resident wrote to the council claiming handing the land over to the rifle club would be breaking the law, which council officers disputed.

Last week, the council's cabinet agreed with the officer recommendation to go-ahead with the plan, meaning the long-running plan can now finally come to fruition.

The council's facilities development manager Ben Moyle wrote in a report prepared for the meeting: "The recommendation is to proceed with the scheme based on the community benefit of enhancing the club’s facilities to Olympic standard, the fact that the small area of land is overgrown scrubland and that there is only one objection to the scheme.

Ashford and District Rifle Club members
Ashford and District Rifle Club members
The land leased to Ashford and District Rifle Club by the council
The land leased to Ashford and District Rifle Club by the council

"The club’s hard work in obtaining multiple grants would also be wasted and put in jeopardy future bids."

The members-only Ashford and District Rifle Club says it is one of the premier target rifle clubs in the county.

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