Paintball plans shot down

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PLANNING permission has been refused for a paintballing centre, which already has attracted a number of people to Ballycastle and won many plaudits, writes Nevin Farrell.

But planners have re-affirmed their refusal of a bid for a change of use from agricultural farmland to an outdoor activity centre for paintballing, 40 metres south east of 30 Hillside Road.

Planners say it will have a detrimental impact on the visual character and impact of people living nearby and impact on nature and public safety in terms of noise, nuisance and disturbance.

Planners added it would impact on nearby householders and say the applicant failed to provide sufficient information to planners.

Planning officer Julie McMath told Moyle councillors they wrote to the applicant, Sean Moloney, in March this year and when there was no reply they sent a further letter but there was still no response.

Moyle councillors were unhappy with the refusal.

Council Chairperson, Cllr Padraig McShane (Independent), said it was “another blow” to the area and it meant a visitor attraction in the Ballycastle area was being denied.

Cllr Cara McShane (Sinn Fein) said: “This is a young entrepreneur and he has had to jump through hoops and get different impact assessments and it is costing him a fortune.”

She said the scheme has been “completely wiped out” by planners and said the move is very discouraging to businesspeople.

Independent councillor Seamus Blaney said he couldn’t understand a noise reason being given as the site is close to a forest area where there is noise from cutting operations and the movement of lorries.

Ulster Unionist councillor Willie Graham said planning permission for the site would have been good for tourism and said there is no similar facility for miles.

DUP councillor Robert McIlroy also slammed the decision and the Council agreed to formally disagree with the decision of planners.