A RIFLE club made homeless by the opening of a £13.5 million leisure centre is to snub the Queen's visit to Burgess Hill.

Members of the Burgess Hill Target Shooting Club are angry they have not been given shooting facilities to use at the new Triangle leisure centre.

The Triangle, in Jane Murray Way, is to be opened by the Queen on March 26.

But for the club it marks a sad end.

It is being forced out of its base at the Sidney West Centre in Leylands Road, its home for 20 years, when it is replaced by the Triangle.

But plans to equip the new leisure centre with a rifle range have been rejected as too expensive, leaving the gun club with no home.

Club secretary Ken Ballard said membership had plummeted by more than 30 per cent since September last year, from 57 to 39, as a result of the uncertainty.

He blamed Mid Sussex Council for excluding the club from the scheme, and accused councillors of breaking promises to ensure they were found a new base.

He said: "We've been excluded from the Triangle leisure centre at every turn.

"We were cut out of the original scheme on very dubious grounds and they've made no effort to accommodate us anywhere else.

"Why should we want to attend the opening of it? There's nothing at the Triangle that interests us."

The council has said the club was given notice and has been offered help in the search for a new base.

Suggested sites include land near the football ground, Leylands Park and Eastlands Farm.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.