Moorabool council, residents and a landowner are locked in a stand-off over a proposed shooting range at a Balliang farm.

A planning application was first refused in February to develop an outdoor shooting range and associated earthworks at the 115-hectare Moretons Road property.

A new application, with a number of changes including adding clubrooms, building a smaller shooting range and noise barriers, was considered at council’s December meeting.

But councillors voted against officers’ recommendations to grant a permit with conditions and instead deferred their decision until the new year to allow for negotiations between the landowner, Garry Jones, and neighbours who objected to the project.

The neighbours’ main objection was excessive noise.

Planning officer Mark Lovell said Mr Jones has changed the proposal to lessen the impact on neighbours.

Councillors originally refused the permit
on the grounds that the proposal does
not comply with the Moorabool planning scheme, did not fit with the area’s land uses
and negatively impacted neighbouring properties.

There is another shooting range further west, but within earshot, of the proposed Balliang east range.

“Cumulative effect of two shooting ranges side by side with excessive hours of operation was a valid concern in the previous planning application,” Mr Lovell said.

“Reducing the shooting days, reducing the shooting times and restrictions to the type of ammunition will lead to an acceptable arrangement.”