Flintshire town opinion still split over shooting club

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

A COASTAL shooting club is continuing to divide opinion in a town.

Concerns over Flint Clay Pigeon Target Club were raised by Flint town councillor John Yorke at a council meeting.

Cllr Yorke said he was not happy with issues relating to the club, which operates on Sundays near a new coastal footpath in the area of the Flint foreshore.
He said: “I still have major concerns on this.

“I had a meeting with the leader of Flintshire County Council (Cllr Arnold Woolley), who has kept me up to speed on what has been going on.

“There should be some concern expressed by this town council.”

Cllr Yorke said he had seen evidence the club, which last year was the subject of a petition by community groups following claims by Ralph and Elaine Jones that their dog cut its paw on spent clay shells, had breached several conditions including the hours members can use the site, gates being open when they should be closed and licenses not being renewed.

Club chairman Glyn Griffiths told the meeting the club started as the Flint and District Gun Club in the mid-1960s and had not received a single complaint until last year.

He added there had not been any accidents and the club spent a lot of time holding charity shoots in aid of organisations such as Marie Curie Cancer Care and the MacMillan Nurses.

“From May, 2010 until the current time the club has been the subject of a crusade to prevent its legal and fully justified use of the area,” Mr Griffiths told the meeting.

The club is currently applying for a lawful development certificate on the land.

The application was deferred by the town council until it meets again next week, after concerns were again raised by Cllr Yorke relating to the application process.

Mr Griffiths said the club had been made aware by experts investigating the claim by Mr and Mrs Jones that there was “no evidence to support the claims made”.

This claim was countered by Cllr Yorke, who said the issue was still being investigated.

Cllr Yorke’s concerns about the gun club were not shared by several members of the council.

Cllr Trefor Howarth said he had been walking along the stretch near the gun club for nearly 40 years without problems and knew many families walked there.

He said: “I have met hundreds of people over there and not heard a single complaint.”

Cllr Ian Roberts said he had spoken to people who walked their dogs in the area on a Sunday morning, with no problems reported and with the club’s attitude also being praised.

See full story in the Leader

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