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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Support for zip wire persuades Honister bosses to consider new proposal

New plans for a controversial zip wire to carry thrill-seekers from the top of a Lake District peak could be tabled soon after a tourist attraction received “overwhelming” support to try again.

Honister mine photo
The zip wire would run from Fleetwith Pike to Honister Slate Mine

Bosses at Honister Slate Mine were disappointed when members of the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) rejected their proposals for a zip wire in January, but have vowed not to give up their fight.

They launched a survey of people who live in the Borrowdale valley, near Keswick, asking if they supported the plans for a 1,000m-long zip wire – and received an overwhelmingly positive response.

Of 148 replies, 132 people said yes, with the rest of respondents saying no, or that they didn’t know.

Now they are hoping to use the local support to put together a new application.

Mine director Joe Weir said: “We are hopefully going to talk to the Friends of the Lake District and explain our plans and see a way forward with them. We will hopefully be resubmitting. We are not giving up on it but have not put a time scale on it.

“We got a tremendous response from the survey, we were not expecting it and we were blown away. It is fantastic.

“I was a bit upset by the parish council going against us so I went along to some of the meetings where one of them suggested doing a survey – so we did.”

Owners of Honister Slate Mine hope that a new attraction would bring in more visitors and provide more jobs.

Planning officers at the LDNPA recommended the committee give approval for the Honister zip wire’s second application in January with certain conditions. However, members voted against proposals.

Talk of new plans comes as proposals for another zip wire at Keswick Climbing Wall have been granted.

A planning application has been approved with conditions for a 160m-long zip wire at the climbing wall’s base at Goosewell Farm on the edge of the town. The zip wire will start in the centre’s car park and head over across a field and into trees.

Debbie Beament, the wall attraction’s manager, said: “We are quite excited about it. We are hoping it will add something else that people can do while they are here.

“Once we see the conditions of the application, hopefully we can get it up and running as soon as we can. We just have to wait and see what the conditions are.”

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