Police firing range to go ahead at Portlethen

There is an existing private firing range at Blackdog near Balmedie. The one in Portlethen will be for police use.
There is an existing private firing range at Blackdog near Balmedie. The one in Portlethen will be for police use.

A police firing range is to be built at Portlethen after a decision by councillors to refuse it was overturned by the Local Review Body.

Members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee had agreed in April to refuse permission for the firing range, which will be located on land adjacent to an existing fire training centre to the north west of the town.

Councillors had cited the fact that the 100m long firing range would be located within Green Belt land as the main reason for refusal, but there were also concerns with its proximity to houses in the Hillside area, and also to land that has been set aside for a new primary school in the area.

However the application has been granted with the conditions that it cannot be used from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, or for more than 70 days per year. It also shouldn’t be used for two consecutive days.

The Local Review Body, made up of councillors from outwith the Portlethen aera, voted to set aside the refusal for planning permission after making a site vist in September.

North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison, who backed the refusal, said that he was disappointed that the decision had been reversed: “The four local councillors had backed the planners’ recommendation it be refused. However the correct process has been followed and we can only respect that.

Planning is not a black and white matter - there are often conflicting policies and it is a judgment call for those making the decision.”