POLICE are considering whether to go to an appeal after planners refused to allow them to continue using a quarry near Wellington to train armed response officers.

Devon and Cornwall Constabulary had used two live firing ranges in Pondground Quarry, just outside Holcombe Rogus, since 1978, but failed to apply to renew planning permission in 2014.

The error was not spotted until 2021, when the force submitted a new application to Mid Devon District Council (MDDC), which councillors eventually refused earlier this month because of concerns over noise disturbance.

The Devon and Cornwall force has about 150 firearms officers who need to be kept up to date with their training and six-monthly accreditation for using pistols, carbines, and shotguns.

But it currently only has capacity to train between 110 and 120 officers and an indoor firing range at its Exeter headquarters was said to already be used to its capacity.

A spokesperson for the constabulary told the Wellington Weekly: “We note and are disappointed by the decision of Mid Devon District Council’s planning committee on the Pondground Quarry site.

“The force will now consider its options in regard to any next steps.”

The spokesperson said the force would make it a priority to ensure ‘our firearms officers can continue to utilise the training and facilities needed to keep our communities safe and maintain full operational capability’.

The MDDC planning decision was being reported to a meeting of Holcombe Rogus parish councillors on Thursday (November 23).

Councillors, together with neighbouring parish councils, had strongly opposed the police application.