Article of the new proposed policy guidance for shooting ranges on the Maltese Islands

Thursday, December 3, 2015, 15:16

New proposed policy guidance for shooting ranges

A proposed policy guidance document for shooting ranges has been launched for public consultation by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority.

In a statement this afternoon, Mepa said the document was the result of the significant increase in the popularity of the clay pigeon and target shooting and the demand for shooting range facilities with internationally recognised standards.

It aimed to establish clear planning parameters through which planning applications could be assessed and regulated.

The proposed framework establishes two policies, one for outdoor and another for indoor ranges.

The policies contain a range of criteria against which proposals for shooting ranges should be assessed. These are grouped into two categories – location requirements and constraints, including environmental characteristics of the site, which set out broad guidelines on preferred locations and scale of the facilities and general design requirements such as massing, layout, access, infrastructure and landscaping.

The policy also highlights particular locations which would be considered favourably for the construction of outdoor ranges.

These include sites already committed for such a land use, existing military installations, disused quarries or sites in their near proximity not identified for other purposes in approved development plans and derelict land excluding land subject to recent degradation.

Such sites could not be on the side of a valley or a valley watercourse, on or near a ridge or where the development would break an undisturbed skyline or significantly intrude a particular panoramic view.

The proposed policy considered favourable the construction of ranges within primary or secondary town centres as part of an existing or designated sports centre or as part of the national range complex.

In such cases, the applicant would be requested to submit an assessment of the noise impacts generated by the proposed development. This assessment must include provisions to ensure that the proposed development adopted identified mitigation measures.

The proposed policy document together with the public submissions received by the authority during the initial two-week public consultation may be downloaded from the authority’s website.

Stakeholders and the public should send their submissions to the director of planning, Mepa, Shooting Ranges Policy, St Francis Ravelin, Floriana, e-mail: by January 22.

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