The long-running argument over a controversial proposal to build a 1km zip wire at the Honister Slate Mine has finally been settled by the Government. After a planning process that's taken over 10 years, the tourist attraction was given the go-ahead last week by Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP.
Despite strong opposition from conservation groups such as Friends of the Lake District, worried about the landscape impact, the noise and the extra traffic the zip wire would bring, the Lake District National Park Authority granted planning permission for the proposal in November 2018.
"We consider this to be a highly sensitive location and that this development will have a detrimental impact on the landscape character, tranquillity and biodiversity of the area" said a Friends spokesperson at the time.
In early 2019 Natural England, Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria Wildlife Trust began lobbying the Secretary of State to call in the planning application. This request has now been declined - which amounts to an endorsement of the planning authority's decision.
"We are absolutely over the moon. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders" said Honister's owners.
"The original decision by the Lake District National Park Planners has been ratified by the most senior level of planning authority in the country. We look forward to receiving the final sign-off on the planning conditions, so we can move forward with the next phase to get the Aerial Flight ready for the public to enjoy."
Honister is already home to a via ferrata, which is run as a tourist attraction.