Ringland villagers hit out at paintball plans

Nearly 50 people crowded into Ringland village hall this evening as the parish council discussed plans for a paintball centre.

Ringland Estate has made an application to turn 35 hectares of woodland, off Ringland Lane, in Morton on the Hill, into a paintball site.

At tonight's parish council meeting, a packed village hall was shown a video of paintball before villagers who have been paintballing spoke of their concerns at it being so close to their village.

Vice-chairman Ian Coleman said: 'I have spoken to several who have been and all said that if that was me, no way would I have it next to me in my village.'

Another concern raised was how big the operation would have to be to compete against a number of other paintball locations in the area.

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Chairman George Crayston said: 'You must take away from this meeting what these people say and what these people think because it will be a disaster for this village.'

George Black, of Ringland Estate, said that he had conducted noise tests in the village and had employed an ecology survey.

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'I went through all the things I could think of that would be wrong for the village,' he said. 'If, at the end of the day, something needs to be done and I can't do it, then I can't do it.'

However, he added he would not be withdrawing the application.

District councillor Simon Woodbridge said that a noise impact assessment would be taken at three different sites in the village in accordance with government criteria.

He added: 'I will speak in a balanced way that recognises a huge amount of pressure to seek economic development.'

The paintball centre application includes proposals for three portable buildings on the site, including an administrative block, a canteen, and toilets. It is proposed the site will operate seven days a week between 8am and 5pm and that the centre would create seven jobs.

A petition against the site has been signed by 140 people and a Facebook group opposing the move has also been created.

The parish council has until Saturday to make its objections. The Highways Agency has registered an objection.

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