ONE of the first planning decisions to be made by the new Westmorland & Furness unitary authority could be a controversial one - with plans on the table for a 840m luge track and an accompanied chairlift.

The proposed site for the attraction at Blaze Fell, Armathwaite, was first put forward to Eden District Council back in 2021. The plan was devised by Michelin-starred hotelier and landowner Charles Lowther and Daniel Holder, owner of Cumbria’s hugely successful eco holiday park, The Quiet Site.

The decision is now set to be made by the new council, which officially takes over on April 1.

The application for the new leisure facility comprising of woodland luge track with chairlift, operations facility and an upgrade of existing roads and parking, has received objections from members of the public as well as parish councils. 

Reasons for objections include increased traffic to the area as well as environmental concerns. 

Applicant Daniel Holder said: "Any application for something ‘new and different’ will always create wide local interest.

"We believe that this development will blend well into the existing wooded landscape and will have virtually no impact on the local community.

"The site entrance is just a few hundred metres from the A6 and the operation is virtually silent.

"Construction will use low-carbon techniques and operation will be carbon neutral. The biodiversity of the site will be significantly improved with the addition of hundreds of trees creating wildlife corridors and new ponds etc. 

"The guests experience will not just include riding down the hill on a gravity fuelled Luge cart but also experiencing riding up the hill on a chair lift transporting you through the beautiful tree canopy.

"Rides will be bookable online so guests flows can be easily managed.

"If passed, this Luge track will be the first of its kind in Europe (they are popular in New Zealand) and will be a great asset to both Cumbria and the UK.

"We will be looking for a world class team to help us run this exciting new business including people with skills in engineering, ecology, hospitality, marketing & PR, operations, as well as food and beverage staff," he said. 

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