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Bigger building plans approved for weapons testing facility near Presteigne

Radnor Range - where the new ballistic facility would be

CHANGES can be made to a weapons testing facility near Presteigne after a scheme that allows a bigger building to be built there was agreed by Powys planners.

In July 2022 plans for a new indoor shooting facility at Harley Dingle, New Radnor were given the go ahead by Powys County Council.

The Ministry of Defence-accredited Radnor Range Ltd tests and evaluates weapons, ordnance, munitions, and explosives at the site.

The new indoor test facility building would allow weapons to be assessed against an array of targets in a technically controlled and safe environment.

Radnor Range (Pic: Google Earth)

The section 73 reserved matters planning application was lodged with the council last December to “vary” the planning permission and allow a bigger facility to be built.

Documents lodged with the application by planning agents Nidus architects said that only preparation work to “level the site” has been done so far.

The change would see the ground floor footprint for the site enlarged by 73 square metres.

Whilst the consented building was the shape of a rectangle, the amendment would result in an L-shaped building with an extended section jutting out from the original elevation by 7.5 metres for a distance of 16.5 metres.

Nidus architects said: “In response to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requirements there is now a need to provide additional facilities on the site.

“It is considered that a minor expansion of the indoor ballistic range is the most cost effective and sustainable way to meet these requirements.”

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Planning officer Lorrainne Jenkin said: “Harley Dingle has been used as a testing, evaluation and training facility with core competencies focused around weapons, ordnance, munitions and explosives since the early 20th Century.

“The proposal would be sited within the compound of the existing Radnor Range facility.”

Ms Jenkin explained that the “only impacts” that needed to be judged are whether the external design and appearance would make the new proposal “unacceptable” from that already given consent.

Ms Jenkin said: “The proposal retains the same design and external  materials and this is considered to remain appropriate for the locality.”

Other planning considerations such as the “principle” of the development and its impact on biodiversity and neighbour’s amenity would all “remain the same”.

Approving the application, Ms Jenkin added: “It is therefore considered that the proposed amendment is acceptable.”