Paintball site under attack

A paintball site in Chorley has been allowed to continue to operate despite being refused planning permission

The Delta Force ‘Yankeewood’ site in Coppull had to submit a retrospective planning application to Chorley Council after it was revealed it had set up camp without permission.

The plans were turned down because the activities were taking place on greenbelt land, but the applicants submitted an appeal against the council’s decision.

Now, the council and paintball site have both come under fire in the run-up to the meeting to decide its fate.

The final decision will be made at a hearing next month, but an angry reader has written to the Guardian complaining it should be closed until then.

The resident, who does not wish to be named, said the noise levels and pollution problems were ruining the area’s quality of life.

“The venue is causing great concern with constant intrusive noise, and it’s distressing people,” said the resident.

“The area used to be full of wildlife, but it now looks like a scene from a film set, with disgarded paintballs and coloured dye in the mud and water.”

But Chorley Council say that until a decision is made over the appeal, Delta Force is doing nothing wrong by staying open.

Coun Alan Cullens, who oversees planning at Chorley Council, said: “The planning inspector is due to hear the appeal against our decision to refuse planning permission for the Coppull paintball site on October 26.

“Planning legislation means that, until a decision has been reached at the hearing, Delta Force is allowed to continue operating.

“We will shortly be writing to residents to confirm the appeal hearing date.”

The agent representing Delta Force has also spoken out to defend the site.

Rob Huntley, of Rob Huntley Planning Consultancy, said: “I believe we have a good case because this type of recreational activity is specifically allowed on greenbelt land.

“I know some residents take an issue about noise, and I’ve no doubt that people can hear activities when they take place, but that’s different to a disturbance or annoyance.

“Chorley Council carried out a noise assessment before they announced their decision, and noise wasn’t their reason for refusing the application.

“I’d prefer to be guided by a professional body.”