Paintballing site plans next to NDR face refusal over fear for ‘peaceful woodland’
PUBLISHED: 18:05 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 18:05 27 October 2020
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Plans for a paintballing site to be created in woodland near a major dual carriageway could be met with refusal by a council.
A planning application to create a paintballing site in woodland near the Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR) has been submitted to Broadland District Council (BDC).
But the council’s officer have recommended to the authority’s planning committee that the scheme be refused - despite the potential to create up to 22 jobs.
The applicant, Sharon Breeze, is seeking a change of use for the area of woodland north of the A1270, also known as the Broadland Northway, currently managed by Walsingham Estate.
If approved, the plans would see a customer area with reception, a staff area, gun and equipment racks and a seating area created from wood frames and metal roofs - as well as toilets and storage.
The site would be enclosed with three metre high netting, and lit by an on-site generator.
A report published on the plans stated: “The proposals would generate two full time jobs and up to 20 part-time jobs on the site.”
The site would operate within the hours of 8am to 5pm, seven days a week and on bank holidays.
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Games would not take place after dark, meaning opening hours would be shorter in winter, and most bookings at weekends, with around 50 customers a day”.
However, Drayton Parish Council objected strongly to the report, and said the plans would have a “detrimental impact” on the recently enhanced Dog Lane footway from Drayton to Horsford.
While the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said there was “insufficient information to judge effects to the environment”
And Norfolk County Council recommended bat and badger surveys were carried out, while the highways team queried whether parking space would be adequate “given proposed parking already serves the adjacent public footpaths and cycleways”.
The council recommended a condition requiring sufficient space for 40 cars be included.
Adrian Crotch, ward member for Drayton North said he found the area to be “unsuitable” and the activity “not in line with the peaceful nature of the area”.
The council said 39 objections from residents had been received, as well as 16 letters in favour, citing “good for health” and “fun”.
The council will discuss the application at a planning meeting held on Wednesday, November 4, with full refusal recommended.
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