A paintball site has been operating on greenbelt land in Leyland for four years without planning permission, it has been revealed.
Paintball Trax Ltd, which is based on land between Midge Hall Lane in Leyland and Moss House Lane in Much Hoole, has been open since 2006, but a planning application has only just been submitted to South Ribble Council.
In the planning documents, it states that the site is located within biological heritage site, and the buildings are hidden in a woodland area.
On behalf of the applicant, Mr M Collinge, agents Bramley Pate and Partners said: “The paintball site is miles from any residential properties and is open from around 10am until 4pm most days.
“Noise from the site will have little effect on the surrounding area.
“The site is kept clean and secure offering a service for both public and charity events, and is also a good activity to create a safe and fun environment for youth work, to keep youths off the streets.
“Only a minimum amount of the biological heritage site is used for the paintball activities, and most of the activities take place in open fields.”
Businesses nearby are backing the scheme, saying it helps trade.
The landlord of the Midge Hall pub allows paintball users to leave their cars on his car park.
They are then taken to the facility in a minibus.
Pub landlord William Keith Henderson said: “My support is driven by the fact that, since its arrival, there has been no negative impact on the area, and the closeness of this business to my pub has meant it has had a notable effect on the increase of my trade.
“These are trying times, particularly to the licensed trade, and anything that assists in keeping businesses like mine in profit must be beneficial to the borough as a whole.
“I come into contact with many of the paintball users, and I find that many are from outside of the borough.
“Surely this must have some plus points to the area?”
A consultation period will last until mid June, before a decision is made by the council.