Plans go back to council

A COUPLE who run a paintball centre say their business could once again be placed in danger after planners “moved the goalposts” on an agreement.

Andrew and Julie Wright have been managing Gunsmoke Paintball in Hadleigh for nine years.

In November, the pair received retrospective planning permission from Babergh District Council’s development committee to operate the business in Benton Street.

The approval followed a 10-year battle to get their proposals for four paintball zones passed, but was granted with a variety of restrictions due to objections regarding noise from nearby residents.

However, the application returns to the district council’s committee on Wednesday as planners seek to secure an amendment which will prevent Mr Wright’s sister, Carla Hammersley, teaching any students at the liveries on the site.

“My sister owns the land and, although the riding centre will not be in use, the changes mean she wouldn’t even be able to show someone how to tame a horse,” said Mr Wright.

“The goalposts have been moved and, although it is a minor amendment, there is a chance it could fail. We have been fighting this for so long, we don’t know when it will end.”

Under the conditions of the planning permission, it has been agreed that a maximum of 60 people are allowed to be on the site at any one time, while the centre can only operate from 9.30am to 4.30pm. The number of events is also limited to 60 days a year.

“We have agreed to everything and this slight change seems a bit silly,” said Mr Wright. “Fingers crossed an agreement can be reached.”

Officers have been recommended to grant planning permission.