Home | News | Ranges reclassed as major developments
News | 22nd April 2021

Ranges reclassed as major developments

Council declares both applications at Eskdalemuir as invalid


APPLICATIONS for two controversial shooting ranges in Eskdalemuir have been declared invalid by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s planning authority.

The applicants have now been told to withdraw their existing plans and, if they wish to submit fresh applications, they must be “major developments” and not “local developments”.

This means a public consultation must be held before new applications are submitted.

The Clerkhill plan was proposed by Eskdalemuir Forestry and would be operated by Gardners Guns of Longtown.

The range at Over Cassock was put forward by E Glendinning and would be run by the Fifty Caliber Shooting Association.

The authority’s Robert Duncan, team leader, major developments, wrote to both applicants last week.

He said the applications had been considered to be “local developments” because the areas covered by the physical developments were under two hectares.

He added: “Representations were received covering a range of material considerations, including our decision to accept them as “local developments”.

“We have sought independent legal advice and this advice has concluded that, because the applications seek a change of use, the whole sites contained within the fenced areas should be considered as the application site rather than that covered by the physical development.

“On that basis, the actual application sites are more than two hectares and would fall under the “major developments” category.”

Mr Duncan said this meant a pre-application consultation with the public would have to be done over a period of at least 12 weeks and also a design and access statement.

Eskdalemuir community council said it was pleased to hear the planning authority had reverted to the position it adopted last November.

It had consistently asked for them to be treated as “major developments”.

In a statement, it said: “The public and authorities must know the full extent of the operators’ plans before any future applications are evaluated.

“To date, these remains obscure. What are the true purposes of the ranges?

“The applicants’ documentation, online advertising and representation from operators and businesses referred to a long list of activities.

“These ranged from international long-range shooting competitions, simulated sniper experience events, training for police forces and military and private security firms to product testing and marketing by weapons’ dealers.

“Eskdalemuir saw what began as a temporary planning application for a hut and car park grow into what the operator was promoting online as Eskdalemuir 2k Training Range, the UK home to US Military Long Range Shooting Training.

“Looking into the scant details of the applications and other published materials, many questions have been raised which remain unanswered.”

The community council asked questions of Police Scotland, Cumbria Police, the local authority and national government and found many anomalies over the inspection and approval of private ranges.

It is concerned that, despite no planning permission ever being granted, events took place at Over Cassock and Clerkhill, including competitions and military exercises which caused disturbance to residents.

The statement added: “This must be addressed before any new applications are considered.

“The UK government’s current laissez-faire approach of allowing self-regulation by operators when it comes to range safety is unsatisfactory.

“It seems bizarre that a commercial dispute with a landowner and business rivalry between two gun clubs in an emerging market has led to applications for two ranges of a type previously unknown and untested outside of the Ministry of Defence Estate.

“The community council will continue to press the new Scottish government to ensure planning law and safety legislation are made fit for purpose to evaluate these and similar applications.

“The voice of the community of Eskdalemuir has been heard loudly and clearly.

“Our role is to ensure it must continue to be listened to.”

Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

‘Scott would have been so proud’

Parents give heartfelt thanks for Langholm bowls memorial Last week,…


‘Wolf-whistles? We’re too busy listening to Radio 4!’

As shock research suggests Britain’s macho builders are now embracing…


All aboard the late-afternoon last bus

Fury as X95 night service to Carlisle is axed by…


‘We feared foot & mouth was back’

Farmers relive trauma after probe into suspected new UK outbreak…


‘Blame the Duke’, Loki tells Langholm

By Penny Johnstone Rapper wades into buyout debate in latest…


Tub Turnbull’s ‘Ride Oot Bye’

By Gilly Fraser For the first time in three years,…


‘My boy is broken-hearted’

Lennon, 12, left devastated after ‘despicable’ thieves target his beloved…


Institute raises a cuppa to 100 wonderful years

Retiring president Nancy McLure welcomed members and guests to the…


Showing Charolais

By Gilly Fraser “The Royal Highland Show is special for…


Drummer Kyle kills it with Brandon & Co

Sheer delight is etched on Kyle Grieve’s face as he…



After torrent floods derelict church, residents unite in campaign to…


Leila's a vintage virtuoso!

If vintage clothes make you think of mothballs and third-hand…


New owners for town's 20-year Erskine eyesore

But clamour grows to tear down derelict, ‘dangerous’ High Street…


The blissful sound of silence

Residents celebrate after church bells are finally silenced


Let’s do it for Dylan!

As his mum appeals for a life-changing loo in Langholm,…


Pyrotechnics and parties for our marvellous monarch

Locals plan to hold a weekend of right royal celebrations


'I'm so glad my dad isn't here to see this'

Local opponents hit back at Tarras Valley plans


Ruairi to lead the way as Big Day returns at last

Langholm elects its new Cornet with 1,100 votes cast


Male is back as just 19 votes decide council seat

Ron Tait ousted in Ward 12 by returning independent candidate


Obituary to well loved lady

Tributes paid to much love


Last gasp lifeline for Tarras Valley project

Two month extension agreed for £450,000 needed to secure buyout


Butchers facing chop

Refurbishment row leads to couple’s decision to quit


Care village moves a step closer

£1.4m footbridge will connect new scheme to town


Rail group sends signal to Holyrood

New Waverley route must include Langholm say campaigners


Election briefing

Use your vote wisely


For whom does the bell actually toll?

Parishioners and minister clash over ‘intrusive’ ringing


Buccleuch to put 30 homes on the market

Tenants of Buccleuch Estates say they are shocked and distressed…


Bus driver crisis is getting serious

Transport company Borders Buses has introduced an emergency timetable after…


Ukrainian Hosts meet wall of silence

Generous residents frustrated with housing delays


Janet's in the frame for gallery as Phil steps down

By Nick Brownlee It’s the end of an era at…


High Noon for Eskdalemuir Marksmen

Opponents claim elite rifle range could put lives at risk


End of an era as Common Riding trio announce retirement

By Nick Brownlee Three stalwarts of Langholm Common Riding say…


Butcher's face the cruellest of cuts

Heartbreak for couple faced with closure of their High Street…


New lease of life for leisure centre plans

Facility would provide “huge health and wellbeing benefits for area”


Local plans drawn up to host Ukrainians

Polish charity will match families with hosts in Eskdale


"Pristine" items wanted and calls for cash donations

When the call went out last week for donations of…


Proud memories of Langholm's Moon Man

On the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Visit


Unmanaged vegetation is potential tinderbox

Heather Trust member expresses his concern over wildfires


Favourite local walk is changed forever

Gaskell’s footbridge removed over increasing safety concerns


Ill-considered approach

Analogue phone switch-off will leave remote communities vulnerable

requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.