Paintball site near NDR rejected amid concerns over bats and woodland

A bid for a paintball site near the Norwich Northern Distributor Road has been rejected. Pictured is

A bid for a paintball site near the Norwich Northern Distributor Road has been rejected. Pictured is a stock photograph of paintballers. Photo: Bill Darnell - Credit: Archant © 2005

A bid to create a paintballing site in woodland near the Norwich Northern Distributor Road failed to hit the target with councillors, who unanimously turned it down.

Chairman of Drayton Parish Council Graham Everett. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

Chairman of Drayton Parish Council Graham Everett. Picture: Dominic Gilbert - Credit: Archant

Plans for the site, to create up to 22 jobs, in Drayton Drewray woodland, near the Reepham Road junction on the NDR were unanimously rejected by members of Broadland District Council’s planning committee.

Among reasons for rejection were the adverse impact on bats, including barbastelles, that parking was inadequate, that it would be a “visual intrusion” into the countryside and that it would harm the environment, character and appearance of the area.

Applicant Sharon Breeze had sought permission to change the use of the woodland for the paintballing business.

It would have included 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.

Concerns over bats were among the reasons for refusal of the paintball site scheme. Photo credit: C.

Concerns over bats were among the reasons for refusal of the paintball site scheme. Photo credit: C. Packman - Credit: C. Packman


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But officers at Broadland District Council had recommended refusal.

Drayton Parish Council had objected, saying it would have a “detrimental impact” on the recently enhanced Dog Lane footway from Drayton to Horsford,

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Graham Everett, chairman of Drayton Parish Council, told the planning committee the area was very popular with walkers and the car park there was often full.

He said if the application was approved, it would limit the parking available for other members of the public.

The Campaign To Protect Rural England had said there was “insufficient information to judge effects to the environment”.

There had been 39 objections to the scheme and 16 letters in favour.

Adrian Crotch, councillor for Drayton North ward, said the prospect of job creation at the business did not outweigh the wellbeing benefits which the woodland currently provides to walkers, while the car parking was “inadequate”.

He said: “The application does not support the environmental character of the area, the noise pollution, the impact on wildlife and diversity, the lack of car parking and the associated highways safety means I’d like to see the committee endorse the refusal of this application.”

And all 10 members of the planning committee voted to reject it.

MORE: Wildlife trust to object to NDR Western Link over fears for bats, rivers and trees

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