A Welsh business has lost hundreds of pounds and smashed windows following recent gunfire at a military firing range in Pembrokeshire, locals say.
David Francis is the owner of Paddock B&B in Castlemartin and says his business has been badly affected by the recent nighttime shooting at Castlemartin shooting range.
He says the firing on the range which continued into the early hours of the morning is “completely unacceptable” and cost him £300 in reimbursement in a single week.
Mr. Francis says that on Friday, June 10, the shooting continued until 1 a.m.
“It’s bad enough that they’ve been shooting at night every night this week, but choosing Friday to shoot until 1 a.m.?” he said.
“It shows absolutely no consideration for those of us in the parish who depend on tourism for our income.”
Mr Francis said he and his guests were kept awake until 2am due to noise with an inconsolable guest’s baby all night.
“It’s bad enough that we have to endure firing until 1 a.m. at the best of times, but surely they could have fired at night until this time any other night of the week,” did he declare.
“I had to reimburse all my guests. That’s £300 in lost revenue and three bad reviews impacting future business.
Mr Francis says it is a repeated pattern whereby the shooting range sits unused for weeks only for shooting to take place during school holidays.
He added that on Thursday June 16, another person in the village had his windows blown out by the shock waves caused by the shooting.
“They contacted the lineup advising them as such and they continued regardless,” he said. “What if a child had been in front of those windows last night?”
“The power of the order seems to increase every year. The range just isn’t big enough for modern weapons.
“I’ve heard all the arguments ‘this is an essential training ground!’ Protecting our interests abroad,” he said.
“What’s the point of protecting my interests abroad when I’m bankrupt here?”
He also expressed concerns for safety on the range, following fatal accidents in the past.
READ MORE: MoD won’t limit noisy planes over Wales during exam season
“It’s only a matter of time before a stray bullet hits a member of the public,” he said.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said nighttime firing after 11:30 p.m. was expected to stop next week.
“Night firing is essential for proper training so that our soldiers are prepared for all combat eventualities,” he said.
‘It is only carried out when necessary at Castlemartin, and after June 24 there is currently no night firing scheduled beyond 11.30pm’
He added that the range publishes its firing times a month in advance, although these may be subject to change, and that ‘robust noise monitoring procedures’ ensure noise remains below agreed limits. .
He said no shooting takes place on weekends, public holidays, two weeks over Easter, all of August and two weeks over Christmas and New Years.
“After June 24, when the current exercise ends, normal firing days will resume,” he said.
“It’s Monday to Friday, with night shots only allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a cut-off at 11:30 p.m..”