AN INDOOR firearms range has been given the go-ahead just yards from a college campus and residential housing in Midlothian.
The high-security shooting range will be used by operators Land Warrior Airsoft to test their weapons, as well as being available for private bookings.
The company, which already operates out of one unit at Hardengreen Business Park, Dalkeith, is one of the leading suppliers of airsoft weapons and plans to open the range in an adjoining unit.
It became a registered firearms dealer two years ago and its agents told Midlothian Council planners that it expected the range to be used potentially by Police Scotland “as required”.
It will also be available for private gun owners for “testing and zeroing purposes”.
In details provided to planners, the company said the range would operate between 10am and 9pm and expected the bulk of visits after 5pm, with an estimate of up to five customers a day during the week, doubling at weekends.
It plans to take on up to four more members of staff once the range is established.
The business park lies next to Edinburgh College’s Midlothian Campus on Dalhousie Road.
Developers told Midlothian Council planners the range would be locked from the inside when in use and all appointments pre-booked.
They added that security was already high on the site, with CCTV and a door entry system built in line with National Rifle Association guidelines.
The local authority’s planning officers have granted permission for the unit to be converted from commercial purposes to what was described in the application as a “multipurpose indoor shooting range” associated with the airsoft business.
A report by officers raised concerns about the impact of the noise from the range and odours on neighbouring businesses and residences.
However, it included conditions in its planning approval to address the issues, including demands for suitable insulation and ventilation.
Edinburgh College’s Midlothian Campus is described as one of the most advanced technology teaching centres in Scotland, including on its premises state-of-the-art facilities, including an oil production platform simulator and giant solar meadow.
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