Councillors have given temporary permission for clay pigeon shooting in Tilgate Forest despite noise concerns.
The private land at Keepers Cottage, near Tilgate Park’s southern boundary and the M23, will be used for non-commercial shooting by up to 12 people between 10am and 4pm on Thursday and alternate Sundays.
Crawley Borough Council’s Development Control Committee on Monday (August 3) gave permission to change the use the land for shooting for one year. Eight voted in favour, five against.
Kevin Tidy, who managed the park for 30 years, said at the meeting: “A handful of clay pigeon shooters would significantly detract from the enjoyment of visitors.”
Duncan Crow (Con, Furnace Green) argued in favour of granting temporary permission in order to review concerns after a year.
Martin Stone (Con, Ifield) said he used to clay pigeon shoot behind his home. He said: “I don’t think it’s going to distrub too many people.”
Colin Moffatt (Lab, Broadfield South) was strongly opposed. Brenda Burgess (Con, Three Bridges) said: “I think this is the thin edge of the wedge. I’m concerned the park is becoming more and more commercialised.”
Bill Ward (Lab, West Green) said: “We talk about a rural area - it’s a further degrading.”
He raised wildlife concerns in town.
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