Panel to consider ‘battle zone’ in the national park

A DECISION on whether to let a man continue to run a commercial war games company – where people fire biodegradable pellets with replica guns at each other – will be made this week.

A DECISION on whether to let a man continue to run a commercial war games company – where people fire biodegradable pellets with replica guns at each other – will be made this week.

Christopher Pace was given permission in 2008 to change Field 1443 on Route des Côtes du Nord, just up from Rozel Harbour, into a simulated battle zone at weekends for a one-year trial.

This time lapsed and Mr Pace had to apply retrospectively to allow people to continue to play Airsofting in a private woodland area in Trinity. Planning is not recommending the application for approval as the area has now been designated in the coastal national park, which gives land the highest level of protection from development.

The States recently adopted the Island Plan 2011, which sets planning policy for the next decade. However, it will be up to the Planning applications panel, which consists of a group of politicians chaired by Trinity Constable John Gallichan, to determine the application on Thursday.

Full story in today's JEP

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Comments for: "Panel to consider ‘battle zone’ in the national park"

Darth Vader

Oh, give the man a break. He is supplying a fun service in an outdoor environment. Before long you wont even be able to walk on these so called protective zones in case you tread on some rare something or other.

its all becoming so pathetic in Jersey.

LIVE AND LET LIVE.

Tom Marett

At the risk of this turning into a debate about the sport and whether or not it is safe, ethical etc, would be good to see only comments on the potential environmental impact! Hopefully, we can answer your questions following advice given to us by the individuals behind the environmental survey on the site! Thankyou and we look forward to your questions and comments

Tony B

Even a National Park is lived in! And costs money to keep up. At least he's not proposing housing or something else destructive.

small money

let it continue ,i do not do this fast growing sport, the uk has loads of events , would be great to see the "jersey airsoft event" open to uk competitors, could be a tourist draw.

iv'e said it before"you can't do that there mate" .

jersey the island of restrictions.

Mark Miller

Ok lets start with it's called AIRSOFT not WAR GAMES or BATTLE ZONE! It's not a cheap sci-fi movie but a sport! Which helps get kids and adults out in the fresh air enjoying them selfs, team building and making friends! And not sitting on a chair watching Tv or playing x-box! Yeah we as Airsofters do simulated fighting with "toy guns" but whats so different between Airsoft, Paintball and Laser tag? It's the same game just played with different kit! The woodland area in Rozel is really the only place which I can think of which we can play safely and out the way. To say we will be playing on the site for not longer the 5 hrs every 2 weeks this all seems all a bit over the top! Let the site open and let all the guys and girls which play this epic sport enjoy them self in a safe and well run site!

Flecktarn fancier

Seriously now, it was a designated airsoft site before this coastal park idea was dreamed up, and a paintball site for years before that. Why put the brakes on something that attracts many young and old alike, i am a veteran site player and this must be allowed to continue!!

The site mentioned is out of site of any public road, away from the general public and on the side of an over grown cotil, they call it a field but i can assure you its not suitable for planting....

What else are the self serving killjoy powermongers that run this island going to ruin next i wonder...

Nick Ozard

As an airsofter for 7 years now starting in my early teens I know for a fact that airsoft is without doubt a positive thing that shouldn't be stamped out like this. It gives kids something different to do and it's good exercise. Keep airsoft in jersey!

Dredd

Aisoft/bb guns will always be a dirty word, however paintball which can be leathal has been accepted in this island for many years and was played on this site years ago.

No matter what you do young people will find dangerous things to do with there time,

at least they can do it in a organised, regulated and controlled fashon in a ground most do not know exists, on a side of the island that not many visit.

From my experience most young people with a fixasion on gun and war grow out of it if there allowed to do things like this.

If people want to play airsoft they will and do, there are many people playing games unrelated to alpha elite. By allowing a place to play it will be regulated and will be contoled. Also there will be someone accountable for the actions of the REGISTERED players.

Airsoft is a fun sport. It is primerally a honer sport and is all about team work. The guns are checked for power (fps) every time some one signs in, and all games are marshalled striclty to avoid aggressive conflict.

Airsoft is ideal for people who just want to have fun and make friends.

If some people cant see that video games are more violent and horrific, then maybe they should open there eyes to whats really going on in there kids bedroom!

Mark Rooney

Is it not hard enough in these times of austerity without bringing an end to this guys fledgling sporting company? Airsoft has grown even in the worst financial crises for more than 60 years, proof if it was needed that even with no spare cash people still need an escape,much as this small area of land is I'm sure beautiful, will it be as enjoyed as much by the odd rambler passing through as the many who choose to visit there every game day? I hope common sense pre vales and wish Mr Pace and the people who enjoy out door sports, the best of luck.

Weekend Warrior

A typical example of Jersey NIMBYISM at it's worst! A small business owner being wrapped up in red tape, untill he is forced to submit to the Imperialistic powers of the planning department. The site in question was previously used for paintball and clay pigeon shoots, both of which use non bio-degradeable materials unlike Airsoft. The evidence is still scattered all over the floor 15+ years later for all to see, hardly a fitting area of a coastal nature reserve.

Tony

Well realistically there is very little environmental damage being done to the site in question, yes once every two weeks from 10am-4pm it has some people running around with replica weapons similar to that of paintball with less lethality so not a so called 'battle zone' with 'war games' being held! The damage this may cause is so little you wouldn't see any effects to the vegetation due to that it would resprout and take hold once again come the following session.

Russ Allchin

That is this island all over...Mr Pace is running a fun day for kids and adults doing no harm to the area we play in. The site used by Mr Pace is the exact same site I used to play paint ball on for many many years. Ok, so now a jersey company will be forced to shut down, but no worries, we will take our hard earned cash and go to spend it in Guernsey where they allow people to enjoy themselves. Airsoft is fun and safe, I really can't see why planning would force a small business to shut down. Get some people from planning to come and play...if they dont have fun they are not human.

Jersey Girl

As a players of airsoft, My boyrfreind and I find it disturbing that such a worth while sport that encourages team work and excerise is being shunned from it location.

the area in which is used for the sport is kept tidy by the organisers and maintained to the highest level possible, all materials used are biodegradable and anything thats not is desposed of in bins that are provided.

This sport gets children off the streets, exercising, interacting with kids they'd never of meet otherwise, making new friends through common interests, the shame goes for the adults.

I have personally seen the organisers working in pouring rain keeping the area clean and tidy, any areas where foliage has worn thin have been restocked to help the area maintain its health and bueaty.

the ogranisers do well there and my boyfriend and I hope that this sport does not get stopped from running.

Russ Allchin

Mr Marret...environmental impact??? We played paintball there for years, are all the plants dead? Are all the animals leaving the area? Er..NO!! so what environmental impact are you refering to?? Ah I know ....your not allowed to have fun in your local environment, that's the impact. I can't believe this site cannot be used for Airsoft but dumping all the ash from the stupidly oversized incinerator on the sea front is ok???what kind of backward island do I live in??

Jersey Expendables

I repeat the comment on here – it is called AIRSOFT not war games and not battle zones.

Conventional pellets are a pollutant of the environment - most ordinary pellets have a mineral or petroleum-based centre coated non-biodegradable plastics, ensuring they will stay in the environment for several hundred years if not collected. Biodegradable pellets are made of various types of resin, often developed for the agricultural industry, and better makes are certified as compostable.

There is are a mixture of degradable processes being used, such as soil microbes and photosensitive degradation.

This sport is played all around the world by both male and female, by weekenders and veterans of a lot of armed forces and by all ages. It is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. I have played for over 8 years and we play with nothing but safety and the surroundings in mind. I think we need an independent report done here and we will really see what the truth is. If they do not allow this sport to continue then something smells off in OUR states.

Good luck guys.

Ash

Just leave it run

I play airsoft and it's Fun and great Exercise and its played by responsable people just looking to hang out with and meet others who share the same interest

It's a sport that has grown a lot over the past few years and is played world wide and they have designated sites for it so why can't we ?

And to repeat earlier comments we all use bio degradable pellets so it's not harming the environment

ees

Careful - might be caught enjoying ourselves

Tom Marett

Hi Russ - as a keen airsofter, I was purely referring to the fact that we were given some advice from the environmental survey people as to how we at AEG could be more eco friendly. I hope that any questions or worries that the public have could then be answered by myself or Chris as to how we might manage any environmental impact if any!

Ben Roscouet

This Island does make me laugh sometimes with its backwards approach to things.

I have played on the site since it opened and have travelled to the UK with the rest of boys for events as well as to Guernsey, where I believe they have the option of 5 different sites to play on and has a huge following.

It would be a great shame if Chris is not allowed to reopen the site especially seeing how he had built up a good following of new players young and old.

So States of Jersey if you do close the site are you going to allocate us a new site or as someone else said are we going to have to start putting money into the UK & Guernsey economy?!?

Russ allchin

Mr . Marret... Wish you guys all the luck, i cant wait to Play there again soon. Bring some planning people down for a game to see there is nothing to worry about.

Will

Young people in jersey complain about having nothing to do so when someone comes up with an idea to give something for them to do it looks like it will het rejected by people like this

small money

hope it does not turn into another"kart track " fiasco.

Alice

Surely precedent must be a factor here - the site was previously used for paintballing and has been running as an airsoft site since 2008. Now, because the planning department have decided that the area is going to be re-designated as a coastal zone, suddenly it’s not allowed?!?

In order to be more environmentally friendly, the Planning Department could put it in as a condition of the consent for regular clean ups, re-sowing of greenery on a regular basis, and as another poster has commented; use of biodegradable pellets. Even if the site had to be regularly inspected by the department to ensure compliance, I am sure that this would be fine with the organisers.

Let’s just hope they take this all into consideration at the meeting tomorrow.

GOOD LUCK!

Topo

It would seem that the enviromental impact of building vast ugly out of context developments in promenent costal positions is not a problem.

However continuing doing something that does not appear to have any impact on a wooded area is not allowed.

Simon

I've never played Airsoft, but do know how much people that do it enjoy it - and cant believe that the opportunity may be taken away. It really is absolutely ridiculous. Please give me one GOOD reason why this sport should not be allowed to continue. there are far too many plus points for this sport, stop trying to find pathetic negatives that simply arent there.

Ron Jeremy

Jersey Girl

Please, pretty please DO NOT ever turn your spell check on when you write in, I'm still trying to stitch my sides up.Encore sil vous plait.

J Bean

I have not played this game before but have seen paintballing in action so along the same lines. A great way to get fresh air, excercise and get rid of aggression in a fun way. As a nature lover I cannot see how this will affect the environment if they are using biodegradable stuff, even mushrooms will benefit as the spores are spread around ;)

Good luck to you!

Shut up and Pay

That sound like fun. Can't wait.

When it comes to nature, if it goes bad, you can always stop it and it will eventually grows back.

It cannot say the same for what they did to Portlet! greedy hypocrites

Get a grip

Not interested in Airsoft, don't care about Airsoft.

I care about the enviroment and I walk around the many paths etc the Island has to offer.

Not once have I come across these guys and gals doing this and I can say that Rozel looks none the worse for it.

It seems like a healthy past time which isnt annoying anyone and Mr Pace has the forethought to use biodgradable pellets. I doubt he is ever going to be a millionaire doing this but give the guy a break!!! He is trying to run a business and as usual the "Experts" are just trying to make it as difficult as possible.

I hold my head in my hands sometimes.

R B Bougourd

Whether the game is called Airsoft or not, whether the pellets are biodegradeable or not is beside the point.

The point is, if people are shooting at each other, even in play, it is quite reasonable for a journalist to describe the place where this takes place as a 'battle zone' and the activity as a 'war game'.

Whether the activity is compatible with the concept of a national park is surely the issue?

As a matter of interest, exactly which 'nation' is Jersey a part of?

Island Park, States Park, perhaps?

x

Let's hope this gets the green light; I am sure some pompous nimby had a go last time without success so hopefully the same thing will happen this time. Good luck.

Vote Quint!

Some people having fun is against the laws of Jersey.

TTS and the JEC however can pollute the water table and sea without any reprisals, killing life and turning vast tracts of the sea bed into deserts.

small money

if it is to be stopped on the site. then unregulated games must be the way foreword. rozel woods , the dunes , anywhere. any arrests, take the jail refuse bail , protest.

John

God did all the paint ball club members write to the JEP simultaneously Just Ban It NOW the Jersey way.

Having Fun

I can think of several public places that you can use:

1. The states chamber

2. Cyril Le Marquand house

3. The Hospital

4. The Car Parks

5. Fort Regent.

I will bet you any money the licence will be revoked. In six months time an external company or current well connected local company will be given sole rights to undertake this activity - it is the Jersey way after all. Mr Pace obviously does not have any friends on the COM.

jon

it will be interessting to see how many architectural attractive buildings go up, around our "protected" costline. Our coast is about as protected as a baby in a lions den, especially if the developer has very deep pockets!!! And having fun @35, the idea of the car parks as a war games venue is quite simply brilliant, i will gladly vote anyone into the states who has such foresight

donald pond

Whatever the merits of using Rozel Woods, surely the States could allow these gamers to use the old JCG site. Lots of parking, centrally located, what's the problem?

Gary B

I too was a regular at Rozel, I am 45 my son 14, we used to go to most events and spend quality time with each other, now I am sure that there are lots of other ways of doing this, but the enthusiasm from my son to get dressed up and go to the woods and play in a very safe controlled environment was amazing, now trying to get him up and out is a chore, but if airsoft was back on we would be there like a shot!

I understand Guernsey has up to 5 sites that they use, clearly they care about the environment too, but as has already been said we use bio degradeable pellets, and you know from your own gardens, that the foilage grows very quickly

So come on planning do the right thing and allow Mr Pace to continue at Rozel

Jersey Boy

I havent ever played airsoft but i have been to this site a few times and played paintball. and it seems like a well run operation and an ideal place for such a sport.

NOT TO MENTION ITS EPIC FUN!

Planning should be ashamed for even suggesting that this should be stopped. and if it is, i think all the airspft players and anyone who is a fan of such sports of has enjoyed a work do or party that included paintball etc, should march on the planning dept and demand a head to roll! I certainly would turn up!

I gotta say i love the reporting, WAR GAMES/BATTLE ZONE. Was this written by someones gandma? what do we call football? KICK BALL! diving: DEATH PLUNGE Tennis: MISSILE SMACKING. lol JEP you are poor reporters

small money

gary b(38) guernsey have 5 sites .

so my odd idea that jersey could host a event open to all and sundry , could possibly never get off the ground as , yet again guernsey are ahead of the game.

Pru Moody

JERSEY IS SUCKING THE JOY OUT OF LIFE

For God's sake Jersey needs something like this! How about thinking that this could produce revenue for the Island ie.

an inter Island competion. Or a place that will keep the teenagers off the drink, drugs and the streets!!

When will Jersey join the 21st century? When it's too late and every Jersey born person has abandoned it because of your archaic thinking!

Get real and stop sucking the joy out of the People of Jersey.

Mike R

Like pretty much everyone here I would hope the Planning Applications Panel reaches the sensible conclusion and permits this activity.

However in fairness this has to follow the process - if you set up a National Park you need a very tough process to control any development within it, otherwise what is the point of a National Park? As for the civil servant who has made his recommendation - this sounds like it was based on advising the Panel of what policy says and is absolutely what he should do - the correct process now is for the Panel to balance that advice with public interest and hopefully reach a sensible conclusion....