FRESH plans to conduct ‘realistic’ war simulation games in the town have again been knocked back by the council.

Planners refused permission in November 2022 for Air Soft games at Prospect Farm, on Prospect Lane near Rixton Moss, which has an existing use as a clay pigeon shooting and gun club.

Air Soft is described as being ‘very popular in the UK’, having originated in Japan in the early 1980s as a competitor for paintball, sees teams shooting small BB projectiles at each other.

Warrington Borough Council’s planning department refused permission in 2022 due to further plans with public consultation being needed.

Fresh plans have since been submitted for war games to be conducted on Sundays, but planners have again blocked the move.

Plans stated: “Permission is sought to operate (Air Soft on Sundays) alongside already consented activities at the site – including clay pigeon shooting, range shooting and archery.

“The tenants who ran Prospect Target Club Limited vacated the site in early 2022, following which the landowner has received a number of approaches to make use of the site, including for a number of alternative uses.

“One such use which is considered capable of working well alongside the already established uses is mixed war games – a with a specific interest in using the site for such expressed by Warrington based Bomb Up Air Soft.

“Having expressed an interest, the landowner agreed to allow use of the site in early 2022 for a number of such games on a trial basis, so both could understand how compatible the use could be.

“The landowner was at this time unaware, given the similarities between the already established uses and that proposed, that additional planning consent would be required.

“Within the midst of this trial, planning enforcement were however alerted to the Air Soft games use, with the landowner ultimately asked to seek to regularise the use in the event there was a desire to continue it.”

The application to enable the ongoing use of the site for Air Soft games was submitted in August 2022, but subsequently refused in November.

“Despite acknowledging the similarities between the existing and proposed uses, the council highlighted that this submission constitutes the required full application,” plans add.

“Air Soft can legitimately be seen to have significantly reduced impacts in comparison to what is already consented, aided by the fact that Air Soft is much quieter and much less powerful.

“This is not therefore the addition of a use which would intensify shooting activities at the site.

“Critically, no new or amendments to the existing site infrastructure are proposed.”

The plans were objected to by Rixton with Glazebrook Parish Council.

In refusing permission, Warrington Borough Council said: “The application as submitted seeks permission to operate Air Soft war games on the application site on Sundays.

“It is clear that it is the desire to run this permission alongside the existing planning permission which allows for clay pigeon shooting and other ancillary uses during certain hours from Monday to Saturday.

“The planning authority is of the opinion that this would not be procedurally possible, as a new, independent permission would conflict and be incompatible with conditions of the existing permission.

“It has been recommended that a new application should be submitted to replace the existing consent and seek permission for a mixed-use site to cover all the proposed uses.”