Pheasant shoot continues to ruffle feathers in Iford

Iford pheasant shoot

Iford pheasant shoot

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The Planning Inspectorate will now decide on the latest attempt to develop Iford Downs Shoot after Lewes District Council took too long to deal with the planning application.

The business has applied for planning permission to use a former farm building in connection with game shooting for six days of the week from Monday to Saturday 7am to 5pm, instead of the approved two days from September 1 to February 2.

But the planning application will be now be dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate because the council did not deal with the scheme within the statutory time frame.

Agent for Iford Downs Shoot, Giles Crust said: “The application was only in regard of the interior use of the Lodge. There are no conditions linking its use to any other activity.”

Planning officers recommended the scheme at Iford Farm in Newhaven Road for approval but the planning committee went against the officer’s recommendations.

It will be up to the Planning Inspectorate to decide.

In the report to the committee it said the scheme had generated considerable local interest.

The report said: “Within the 28 days when shooting is permitted it would not be possible to shoot for six days a week, every week, from September 1 to February 2.

“Shooting for six days a week over this period would amount to about 133 days,far in excess of the 238 days when it is permitted.

“Therefore it does not necessarily follow that allowing The Lodge to be used for up to six days per week would lead to an increase in shooting activity on the land.

“What allowing extended use of The Lodge would do is give the applicant the ability to use the building more flexibly from September 1 to February 2.”

A total of 13 letters of objection were sent to the district council on the grounds of increased activity, traffic and noise in the South Downs National Park. Sussex Wildlife Trust wanted more information about the impact of game birds on the Site of Special Scientific Interest around Iford.

Rodmell Parish Council raised concerns about the impact of the shoot on Breaky Bottom vineyard.