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Home Tourist Attraction Lake District: Elterwater Quarry plans backed by history society

Lake District: Elterwater Quarry plans backed by history society

by Staff

Burlington Stone and operators Zip World submitted revised plans to the Lake District National Park Authority in December 2023 for the Elterwater Quarry Experience.

The project aims to allow visitors to explore parts of the cavern that had been previously inaccessible for a ‘heritage-based adventure experience’. Plans include platforms that will be installed in the caves at points of interest, and visitors will travel from one platform to another via zipline.

In response to the plans Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society said: “We believe the proposals are likely to preserve the historical perspective of the slate quarrying industry to a much greater extent than letting the remains decay as many in the district have been allowed to do.”

The plans were previously rejected by the Lake District development control committee in September 2023 after members went against planning officers’ recommendations due to concerns over traffic.

The amended plans include a travel plan which encourages people to walk, cycle and use public transport to reach the site.

Proposals include providing an improved no. 516 bus service or operating a private Zip World shuttle bus from Brockhole. Zip World would also financially reward customers that have used non-car travel to make all or part of their journey to the experience through ticket pricing.

In response to the new plans Historic England state: “The proposed development would not have any direct physical impact on designated heritage assets outside the application boundary, and indirect impacts upon their settings would be very limited, given the location of the quarry within the landscape and the lack of inter-visibility with many of the designated heritage assets sited around it.

“There would, however, be the potential for direct physical impacts upon archaeological remains, potentially of national importance, which have yet to be identified within the underground caverns and in the wider quarry landscape above ground.”

“Historic England considers that, subject to the adoption of appropriate mitigation measures, including detailed survey to identify features of heritage significance within the application site, and the adoption of design solutions which would avoid damage to them during the construction and operation of the development, there would be little or no adverse impact upon heritage assets, whether designated or un-designated, or their settings.”

Previously The International Council on Monuments and Sites, an advisory body to UNESCO, voiced concern that the proposals would turn the quarry into a ‘theme park’.

Responding to the previous plans ICOMOS stated: “It should be noted that this type of planned attraction would transform part of the quarry into a theme park, threatening to trivialise the experience of an important aspect of the historic heritage of the Lake District, and one of its attributes.

“The proposal would likewise be the cause of increased traffic to the Great Langdale valley, inviting a type of audience and attraction that is likely to disrupt its tranquil and contemplative character.”

The planning application was submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority on December 15.

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