Honister Zipwire Rejected - Againby Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com Jan/2013
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A proposal to build a zip wire on Fleetwith Pike has been turned down today by planners in the Lake District.
This was the second rejection for the controversial plan by the Honister Slate Mine tourist attraction, which has divided local opinion since it was first conceived by Honister's late owner Mark Weir. The original proposal, which would have seen the construction of a 1200m zipwire running from near Fleetwith Pike's summit to the Honister car park, was given the thumbs down in 2011 (reported here on UKH). Honister Slate Mine's revised proposal for a slightly shorter wire has now been refused too.
Having heard representations from various parties both for and against, including a statement in support from Sir Chris Bonington, members of the Lake District National Park Authority's development control committee today voted by seven votes to four to reject the application, on the grounds that the development would have a serious impact on the character of the Lake District Landscape.
Conservation organisation Friends of the Lake District, who campaigned against the proposal, have welcomed the news as 'the best decision for the Lake District's wider tourism economy now and in the longer-term.'
'The decision reaffirms the previous refusal' they go on, 'recognising that recreational activities reliant on man-made infrastructure and harmful to the landscape should not be allowed in sensitive locations.'
'Zip wires and GoApe tree assault courses are best located in forest settings as they are in other parts of the UK.'
In the aftermath of the decision supporters of the proposal have expressed shock and sadness, Honister's owner has suggested it may have to close, and it has been reported that Sir Chris Bonington has resigned from his post as vice-president of Friends of the Lake District.
Is the end of the (zip)line for the scheme?