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UNESCO calls to halt Elterwater ‘zip wire’ attraction plans

by Staff
Image caption,

Nearly 90,000 people previously objected to the plans for the quarry in Great Langdale

An international heritage body is calling on the government to halt the planning process for a “zip wire” tourist attraction in the Lake District.

Proposals for the Elterwater Quarry Experience were refused in September after nearly 90,000 objections, and a revised plan was submitted in February.

Now the UNESCO world heritage committee wants the plan be halted, claiming the attraction would encourage “mass tourism” to a “tranquil” area.

The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) said it had notified the government and Historic England of the proposals in line with the planning process.

Image caption,

An artist’s impression of a proposed platform along the zip wire route

Burlington Stone and operators Zip World want to install platforms in caves with zip wires connecting points of interest at Elterwater Quarry in Great Langdale.

The Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society (CATMHS) has said the plans are likely to protect the site, which could otherwise decay.

The UNESCO heritage committee wants the planning process to be halted while it considers giving the area Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) status, according the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“Universal value means a place has cultural and natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity,” the body said.

Plans were previously rejected by the LDNPA development control committee in September 2023, after members went against planning officers’ recommendations due to concerns over traffic.

The amended plans include a travel proposal encouraging visitors to walk, cycle and use public transport to reach the site.

Proposals also include providing an improved bus service or operating a private Zip World shuttle bus from Brockhole.

Lake District National Park Authority said it had received the views from UNESCO’s advisory body and would respond as part of their “assessment of the planning application and the broader issues raised in due course”.

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