Honister Zip Wire Approved

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.

Night Falls in the Honister Pass.  © Russell Lovett
Night Falls in the Honister Pass.
© Russell Lovett, Nov 2018

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.

Honister Slate Mine with Fleetwith Pike in the background.  © Mick Ryan
Honister Slate Mine with Fleetwith Pike in the background.
© Mick Ryan

"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.

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28 Jul

When I was a kid, I'd have had my mind blown by a via ferrata and zip wire at Honister - would have been a highlight of a holiday. Sounds awesome. And I doubt it will interfere with my enjoyment of the fells.

When I was a kid I would have liked a rollercoaster going over Crib Goch.

29 Jul

When I was a kid I would have had my mind blown by the thin end of a wedge.

I really want an alpine coaster in the UK - they’re something I’d love to try, but it’s not very green to drive or fly to the alps for one.

29 Jul

And this is where my final sentence becomes relevant. You see?

29 Jul

About time too. I've never understood the opposition to installing a wire in a former mining complex on a hillside already dramatically changed by mankind.

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