A popular Gloucestershire farmland attraction could create a new field to use for laser clay pigeon shooting if plans are approved next week.
Elton Farm, in Littledean, is well-known for the popular themed maize mazes it runs every summer.
But farm bosses now want to divert two public footpaths so walkers are not passing through a field they want to use for firing invisible infra-red laser beams.
Two footpaths currently cut through the maize mazes and the field Elton Farm wants to use for the new attraction.
Laser clay pigeon shooting is a sport which sees deactivated 12-bore shotguns used to fire at reflective and reusable clays.
Elton Farm has asked Forest of Dean District Council to divert the footpaths around the edge of the 20-acre site, create a small car park and change the official use of the farmland to a multi-use recreation ground.
Special sensors that automatically detect when they’ve been hit are fitted to the clays and these send signals back to the scoreboard.
The application says it wants to add the new activity to those already on offer at the farm on the edge of the Forest of Dean.
The planning application submitted to the district council said: “The activity is similar in nature to traditional clay pigeon shooting but without the noise and mess.
“The activity uses electronic technology rather than any form live ammunition and does not fire any form of projectile.
“The guns themselves make no noise, which has a significant benefit to the local environment with regards to noise generation.”
The ‘clay pigeons’ are made of plastic and do not break when hit so do not make a mess and the equipment needed for running a session fits in the back of a car so there are no issues with planning, says the application.
“The activity will mainly take place in the field this planning application pertains to, however at times will also operate in the field that the Maize maze operates from.
“This will be in order to keep things interesting and different for participants. Therefore it would make sense to propose redirections of the footpaths that run through both fields.”
Elton Farm says it will only need a small car park for six vehicles and a single temporary portaloo at events.
Children will be able to take part from eight years of age upwards but will require adult supervision.
Groups of five would book sessions lasting an hour at the facility which would be open 12 months of the year between 9am – 7pm, a council report said.
Council officers have recommended the application is approved.
The district council’s planning committee will determine the application at a meeting on August 13, from 2pm.