Ball rolling sport gets green light

spheremania
spheremania

AN extreme hill rolling sport in Westwood has been given the green light after bosses appealed a decision to stop it operating.

Spheremania – which runs an activity that involves climbing into a giant ball and rolling down a hill – was told to shut up shop by Ashfield District Council last year.

But company bosses challenged the decision and an appeal hearing held earlier this month ruled in their favour.

Director of the company’s Westwood site Jimmy Rybij said: “I’m over the moon. We are really happy with the outcome.

“Justice has finally been done for us. It’s been a long slow process.”

Spheremania has been given the go-ahead to run April to October this year, but will have to re-apply for planning permission next year.

Mr Rybij said: “We ideally wanted full planning permission, but we are really confident now that we will be given the go ahead next year anyway.”

The company, which has 14 sites nationwide, uses the field between Brinsley Hill and Yew Farm, but permission was refused because of concerns about flooding, noise, and the possible affect it could have on nearby farm animals.

Some residents and councillors complained about the site, but others said the company put Westwood on the map and attracted people to the village.

The appeal hearing considered whether the development is appropriate on greenbelt land, the effect on the character and appearance of the area and noise and disturbance to residents.

Mr Rybij’s father, who owns the land, said: “The inspector looked at all the points regarding this activity and agreed with many residents in the area that we should be given the opportunity.

“If you talk to the local residents many of them are actually very supportive of it.”

Spheremania currently has 14 sites nationwide and the Westwood site – which has run on and off since 2009 – is currently the longest run in Europe.

Visit spheremania.com or call the booking line on 0844 800 30 45.

The sport is permitted to run between 9am and 6.30pm Fridays to Sundays.