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Friday, 27 March 2015

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Decision to reject Lake District zip wire bid slammed

LAKE District planning bosses have thrown out a proposal for a controversial tourist attraction for the second time – against the advice of their own experts.

Honister Slate Mine, in Borrowdale, sought permission to set up a zip wire to allow thrill seekers to descend Honister Crags after scaling Via Ferrata.

The wire, which attracted nearly 400 letters of support, would have been in place for 18 months while an independent impact assessment was undertaken by the University of Cumbria.

Key figures from the region, including Sir Chris Bonington and Nigel Wilkinson, head of Windermere Lake Cruises, highlighted the benefits of the scheme.

But their attempts failed to gain the approval of the majority of members of the Lake District National Park Authority’s development control committee yesterday.

Sir Chris has since resigned as vice president of Friends of the Lake District because it had objected to the plan.

“They (Friends of the Lake District) do some very good work but they’ve got this one terribly wrong,” he said.

Jack Ellerby, policy officer for Friends of the Lake District, said there was no justification for eroding the wild and tranquil area of Borrowdale.

Mr Ellerby said: “The Alps cannot compete with what the Lake District has to offer, so let’s keep it that way. This is just the wrong location, put it in Whinlatter.”

His concerns were echoed by seven of the 11 development control committee members.

Jan Wilkinson, Honister Slate Mine owner, said she would appeal the decision.

News of the decision to oust the zip wire application for the second time was largely met with criticism from the online community.

South Lakeland district councillor and Ulverston representative James Airey wrote on Twitter: “Honister zip wire refusal shows just how out of touch, undemocratic and anti-business the LDNPA is.”

Have your say

Thank goodness Black Combe and the surrounding area have not been developed. The Lake District needs some areas left to explore, it is not all about development.

Posted by Chris Eatough on 15 January 2013 at 12:20

If Mr Airey wants it so badly why not try to put it on Black Combe, will bring tourists to an area lacking in them ?

The LDNPA again made the right decision & hopefully will make the same at the appeal

Posted by Fleetwith on 11 January 2013 at 18:10

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