Paint-balling bid rejected

FOREST lovers have won their campaign to stop the creation of paint-balling sites in the heart of woodland near a former American air base.Suffolk Coastal District Council officers have rejected plans submitted by Kombat Leisure for the use of two separate sites on an area of Forestry Commission land within Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge Airfield.

FOREST lovers have won their campaign to stop the creation of paint-balling sites in the heart of woodland near a former American air base.

Suffolk Coastal District Council officers have rejected plans submitted by Kombat Leisure for the use of two separate sites on an area of Forestry Commission land within Rendlesham Forest near Woodbridge Airfield.

The aim was to use one area for two to three years and then to transfer the activity to a second site to ensure that environmental disturbance was kept to a minimum and to encourage natural regeneration.

However, the chosen sites were in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Bob Chamberlain, Suffolk Coastal's head of development and planning control, said the activity would spoil the AONB and tranquil parts of the forest.


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Mr Chamberlain said there would be a significant adverse impact upon the character and amenity of the area, and the arrival of users by car would put extra pressure on the environment.

There were letters of support from members of the public who said it would be a useful activity for young people, and only a small area of woodland would be used.

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But there were petitions against the scheme, organised by householders living near the forest and by Tim Fincham, who works in the Sandwich Shop, Thoroughfare, Woodbridge.

Iain Morrison, of Spratt Street, Eyke, said the area had been more peaceful since the Americans left the twin bases at Bentwaters and Woodbridge, but he was disturbed by motorcycle speed trials taking place at Woodbridge Airfield.

Mr Morrison warned the noise and pollution from paint-balling could be significant. ''I understand the smoke from 'various bombs and grenades' remains in the air and wind for some considerable time. Many people use this area especially on weekends for walks with their families and dogs and could well be affected by the games and closed off areas,'' he said.

Mid Suffolk Carriage Driving for the Disabled objected to the plans. Sarah Edmundson, chairman, said the forest was already used for dog sled races and motor bike scrambling and she was worried another activity be too much.

Suffolk Coast and Heaths Project did not object to paint-balling in principle but the organisation was concerned about a lack of detail relating to the number of people playing the sport and arriving in cars.

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