Plans for new indoor air rifle range approved

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Plans for a new air rifle range on Wearside have been given the green light by council planners.

Last year, ‘change of use’ proposals were submitted for a manufacturing warehouse at the Philadelphia Complex off the A182, near Shiney Row.

The application, by ‘Wearside Air Rifle Range’, includes two main shooting ranges, a tea room and a shop which could manufacture bespoke products for customers.

In future, owners also plan to introduce an air pistol range.

During consultation, nearly 40 public comments were submitted with the majority supporting the scheme.

And on April 16, the plans were given the go-ahead by Sunderland City Council.

Applicants say the site will be “one of the longest indoor air rifle ranges in the UK” – with distances of up to 60 yards – and plann to use the site for official competitions.

Ambitions also include developing a “National Shooting Centre of the North” at the site due to links with official shooting organisations and the England Olympic team, a planning statement reads.

It adds: “We wish to provide a facility that brings people of all ages and abilities together, it’s not just a shooting range.

“This will be a place where champions can practice, a place for people who want to become champions.

“A centre for people to enjoy their hobby, a place for people to learn and improve, to learn discipline.

“A place to meet and socialise, somewhere to eat and buy products if they want.”

Agreed opening hours for the new centre include 9am-10pm, Monday to Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays / Bank Holidays.

A soundproofing scheme will also be put in place before the site opens to “protect the amenities of the area.”

And other conditions limit the centre to indoor shooting only with no more than 22 rifles used at any time.

For more information, search ‘Wearside Air Rifle Range’ on Facebook.

Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service