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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Honister mine’s pledge over new Lake District zip wire plan

Bosses at Honister Slate Mine say that they are not planning to introduce more man-made development onto the open fell side in their plans for a zip wire.

Related: New Honister zip wire plan not right for image of Lake District

The organisation said that instead, they would be using the 90-year-old concrete base of the dismantled Lancaster Aerial Flight.

A spokeswoman for Honister Slate Mine said: “We are not planning a zip wire up to Haystacks, but across an industrial working site which has been in operation for over 900 years.”

The proposal, submitted to the Lake District National Park’s planning committee, is for temporary permission to install a zip wire for 18 months on the side of Fleetwith Pike, allowing independent researchers to carry out a year-long impact survey.

Honister Slate Mine has scaled down the plans from previous proposals.

It has hit back at comments made earlier this week by Friends of the Lake District.

The spokeswoman said: “We would suggest that robust independent consumer research carried out by the University of Cumbria on and around the site, which will include walkers, locals, farmers and anyone within the vicinity with an opinion, would be a far more reliable indicator on the actual impact on the environment and be more relevant than a remote minority group, many of whose members do not even live in the Lake District.”

Eric Robson, chairman of Cumbria Tourism and The Wainwright Society said: "Would those opposing this application please remember this is a working industrial site with a proud 900-year history.”

Bosses at Honister Slate Mine say they have worked “closely and tirelessly” with The Lake District National Park Planning Board and Natural England to ensure this new alignment minimises any possible negative impact on the surrounding area.

The spokeswoman added: “In fact, we do recognise that unfettered development in inappropriate areas would certainly negatively impact on an area we care for, look after and that we and our visitors love.

“The essential point is that we do indeed work and live here and bring employment to local folk.”

“It was Mark Weir’s vision that brought this derelict site back to life.

“The new Honister zip wire will encourage additional visitors.”

Mine owner Mr Weir died in March last year in a helicopter crash.

South Lakes MP Tim Farron said earlier this month: “It is important to remember that our landscape is not stuck in aspic, it’s a working living community.”

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