Bricket Wood paintballing application rejected

PUBLISHED: 16:21 12 September 2011

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council

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Paintballing activities to continue while planning matters are resolved

PAINTBALL operator Ken Rudkin has been told he must prove the game has taken place at his Bricket Wood property for the past decade to obtain official district council sanction for the activity.

St Albans council has rejected an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness from Mr Rudkin to use land and buildings for paintballing, including changing facilities, at the site to the rear of Lye Lane.

That was despite the council being given a signed agreement between Go Ballistic Training Limited to become a team training, activities and paintball supplier to Bricket Wood Country Club, owned by Mr Rudkin, dated March 9, 2001.

The council refused the certificate, saying that the use and operations were not lawful as Mr Rudkin had, “failed to demonstrate that on the balance of probabilities, any of the outbuildings within the site were completed four or more years ago or that any part of the site has been used for a continuous period of 10 years for outdoor paint ball activities.”

Speaking on behalf of the applicant David Parry, a director of A D Practice in Wheathampstead, said that while there had been paintballing activities in Bricket Wood for a decade, “for some reason it never had planning permission.”

He added: “Council has decided that they wanted to regularise the planning of it and asked for a Certificate of Lawfulness. Certain activities, if they have been carried out for a certain length of time without any action taken against them, become lawful.”

However, the council had refused the application on the grounds that the evidence of continued use was insufficient.

Mr Parry said additional information would be provided when the application was re-submitted within the next fortnight. Paintballing activities can continue while the planning matters are being resolved.

Go Ballistic, which leases the site, describes it on its website as “brilliant” and one of the biggest and most popular paintballing venues in south east England, ideally situated for north London.

It attracts players from a wide catchment including Luton and Hitchin.

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