Up in (fire)arms: Residents groups oppose gun club expansion
Conflict has arisen between Terrey Hills and Duffys Forest residents and a local gun club, over plans to increase the number of shooters on-site and introduce the use of high velocity rifles.
Peninsular Firearm Academy (PFA), located in Mona Vale Road bushland, has sought to increase the number of people allowed to participate in its scheduled shooting activities from 80 to 320.
It also seeks Council approval to allow the usage of .308 Winchester (7.62mm) rifles and make the use of rim fire .22 Winchester Magnum rifles permanent.
The number of rounds able to be fired per meeting would also increase from 1,000 to 2,000, while the club’s monthly Sunday shoots would be extended from 12:30pm – 4:30pm to 10am – 6pm.
Both the Terrey Hills Progress Association (THPA) and the Duffys Forest Residents Association (DFRA) have expressed concerns at the noise impacts from the proposed expansion.
They say acoustic testing carried out by the club to support the proposal, which found the noise level met the 85 decibel criteria, is not a true reflection of the impacts as it was carried out on a weekday.
“THPA remains concerned with the noise emitted from the range, which has a detrimental impact on the ambiance of neighbours and many residents of Terrey Hills and Duffys Forest, as well as the native animals in the neighbouring National Park,” the residents group says in a submission to Council.
“It is not surprising then that there were no complaints received as the tests were carried out during working hours!”
The DFRA says it is also concerned for the impact on recreational users of the nearby St Ives Showground, including horse riders, dog training schools and trail users.
In supporting documentation to Council, Tere Alexeeff, secretary for the Academy, says the noise testing was carried out on a weekday so as not to impede on Sunday club activity and because the acoustic engineers do not work on weekends.
“PFA are not seeking to enlarge the facility, only increase the use of the facility to benefit our members and guests. PFA is a responsible land user and citizen. This facility is located in an approved permissible use area and is in a remote setting away from residential areas.”