PLANS for a rifle range in Rossett have been refused.

Wrexham Council received proposals to change the use of land off Borras Road from agriculture to mixed use including a practice rifle range.

A report to the authority's planning committee explained the range was proposed to be in association with the Field and Falcon Gun Shop, which also provides gunsmith services including repairing, servicing and modifying firearms.

The document detailed a list of concerns from councillors and residents - the most prominent of which was the impact of noise nuisance.

Cllr Hugh Jones, of Rossett ward, told the planning meeting on Monday: "We have had the ability to experience the operation, because this is a retrospective application.

"This is significantly obtrusive in a very quiet rural area and the noise extends over quite a wide range as a result of the surrounding terrain, as it is an open plateau.

"I cycle around this area a lot and can hear it constantly.

"It annoys me when I'm out enjoying the countryside and it must annoy the neighbours significantly.

"It seems to me this is a totally unsuited application for what is a rural area.

"Yes, we know shooting takes place in the rural area and is a sport but this is a commercial operation which creates a great deal of annoyance."

Planning officer David Williams said tests had been carried out and the noise levels had not been found to form a "statutory nuisance."

He said: "I don't think this is a straight forward application.

"We have given this a lot of consideration.We know that clearly it's a difficult one to judge. We all have our different levels of tolerance to noise."

He explained options such as a temporary permission had been considered in order to monitor the impact.

Some councillors suggested more stringent conditions to limit the operational hours of the site.

But Cllr Paul Pemberton said: "It's ok putting conditions on, but I think our planning authority has to be one of the worst in the country for enforcing them.

"Who is going to enforce them? That's the problem."

Cllrs Graham Rogers and David I Bithell raised concerns for the safety of the public around the site in relation to stray or ricocheting bullets.

Mr Williams said the scheme had included measures to prevent any conflict with members of the public using the nearby footpath.

Cllrs John Phillips and Paul Pemberton proposed refusal on the grounds of noise nuisance and highway safety.

The proposal was seconded and the committee voted to refuse the scheme.