More shots fired by critics and backers as south Shropshire wargames plan nears end of consultation

Final shots are being fired in a contentious plan to use a farmer's fields in south Shropshire for war games using realistic guns that fire biodegradable projectiles.

An airsoft gamer in action
An airsoft gamer in action

As an official consultation period came to an end on Monday the number of opponents and supporters of the plan to change the use of land near Rock Hill Farm, near Greete, was split relatively evenly with 72 objections to 66 in support.

Among the supporters was a former member of the British Army who served three operational tours of Afghanistan and is now a senior emergency medical technician with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

"Having suffered with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) I have finally found a hobby [Airsoft] where I can relax, find that sense of camaraderie and most importantly found new friends," they told planners.

They added: "I find it deeply offensive that some members of the public would suggest 'we should ship them off to Ukraine to see what war is like' when for me I have seen war, death and severe traumas while serving our country abroad and at home."

But for many locals in the area near Ludlow the prospect of having wargamers driving on narrow local roads, upsetting them and the local wildlife, is too much to contemplate.

Opponents have also been joined in their concerns by heritage experts because the proposed change of use is just 140m from the Scheduled Monument of The Bower moated site.

They have asked that there should be no determination of the application until the results of the required assessment has been submitted to the local planning authority, or it should otherwise be refused.

Hope Bagot Parish Council has also submitted its comments in opposition to the plan which has an official decision deadline of Monday, December 5.

The plan can be viewed on the Shropshire Council planning portal, with the reference number 22/03770/FUL.

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