The Goathouse Refuge near Pittsboro have been in existence in the area for about 7 years and they currently care for about 200 cats including some other animals such as goats and dogs. This is a cat sanctuary and the pictures of it indicate that this is a well managed organisation
A business opened up next door. The business is a shooting range, which is referred to as "Range 2A". The range uses about 15 acres of a 71 acre plot owned by the business. They have plans to expand so even more noise seems likely!
You can guess what I am going to say next, I hope. The shooting range creates an awful lot of noise.
The domestic cat is very sensitive to noise and particularly the sort of noise that firearms make when they are fired. These are exactly the sorts of noises that domestic cats detest. They scare cats and create stress.
The cat sanctuary is appealing to Chatham County Board of Commissioners to close the shooting range. They have started a petition online. This is all very worthy stuff.
However, the question that I have is how did this shooting range business obtain planning permission to open up their business next door to a cat sanctuary that has been in existence on this site for 7 years?
It seems grossly unfair to me. Perhaps the business did not need planning permission at all but I would doubt that because every organisation or individual in any environment in the West requires some sort of planning permission when opening a business.
Did the cat sanctuary have sight of the planning application? And if so did they have an opportunity to contest it? Did they object to it? Was their voice heard and did they have a hearing at the local authority pursuant to the rules to put their case forward formally? These are the questions that need to be answered and if I was the owner of the cat sanctuary I would be making enquiries along these lines unless of course I am barking up the wrong tree because either there are no planning regulations in place, or there are regulations and there been complied with.
If the latter has happened I would appeal the decision of the local councillors. An appeal could take place in a local court for judicial review.
My gut feeling is that the best course of action is a legal one because petitions and requesting something from councillors has little chance of success in my opinion.
The shooting range business has issued a bland statement justifying their existence, unsurprisingly. But it does not address the central issue which is why they're there in the first place. They have not responded to a request by the reporters of the Daily News to comment on the matter.
The Goathouse Refuge may have to close unless something is done about this shooting range.