The owner of a paintball firm has told of his “relief” that his business has finally been given the go-ahead to continue operating.
Paintball Trax has been using an area of Biological Heritage Site in Midge Hall, Leyland, for the past six years, without the relevant planning permission.
Owner Mike Collinge insists he has done all he can to preserve the land, and submitted a retrospective planning application to South Ribble Council last month.
Now, his plans have finally been approved, and he says a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
“I’m very, very relieved,” he said. “The last 12 months have been so uncertain for us, but we can now start to invest in the business again and improve the site for our visitors.”
Mr Collinge, who runs the independent firm with his family, has now been issued a list of conditions to adhere to along with the planning permission.
The first states that ‘the use hereby permitted is temporary for a period of five years and shall be discontinued on or before October 31, 2017, and the land restored to its natural state.’
However, the council has explained that Mr Collinge will not necessarily have to leave the site then – but he will have to submit another planning application to continue using the land, as he has just done. Mr Collinge said: “If I do everything I’ve been asked to do and meet all the conditions, I can’t see that the council would ask me to leave.
“It wouldn’t be fair for them to throw me off after I’ve spent thousands of pounds on the business; that wouldn’t be right.”