Clay pigeon shooting plans rejected ANNE LUCEY

PLANS TO build a clay pigeon shooting drive in a scenic valley near Killarney have been refused by An Bord Pleanála, despite the board’s inspector describing the activity as “a legitimate countryside pursuit”.

The application to use existing farm buildings and land on a working sheep farm at Annaghmore Glenflesk in the foothills of the Paps mountains had previously been rejected by Kerry County Council. The proposal was to host small groups of clay pigeon shooters on just eight days a year.

However, residents in the area complained about the possibility of noise, pollution and disturbance. They also had concerns about safety. An Taisce had concerns also about the possibility of debris over a wide area.

An Bord Pleanála inspector John O’Donnell noted the area was designated rural general. There were not many nearby houses and there was already a high degree of “ambient noise” generated by the nearby N22 national primary route. Refusal would be “unreasonable” given the infrequency of the activity.

However, the board ruled against the inspector. It refused permission because of the proximity of dwellings and because of concerns about the access road.