Have Your Say on the Thirlmere Zip Wire Plan

With the Planning Application for the Thirlmere Activity Hub now submitted, your voice really can make a difference.
 
The Planning Application for the Thirlmere Activity Hub has now been submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority, who will assess the application and take into account any comments they now receive about the scheme.

 

The company behind the application, Treetop Trek Ltd, are encouraging everyone to share their views by contacting the Planning Authority. Your comment could be the one that tips the balance at the Planning Committee, which is likely to be held in February.

 

Before writing, Treetop Trek would like you to consider each of the summary points below and the planning policy areas that they cover, and decide which ones matter most to you.

 

World Class Visitor Economy – the following points all meet objectives in the LDNPA’s Strategic Objectives 9,11,12, Visitor Economy 1 of the partnership plan, the Adventure Capital Plan, and the LEP Rural and Visitor Economy Growth plan priorities1 and 2:

  • 53 local jobs
  • An extra £600,000 spent in the local economy every year.
  • £1.3m in direct GVA annually.
  • £3m of capital spent on a low carbon, low impact scheme.
  • A growth in visitors of an extra 127,000 annually.
  • Of these, over 52% will come in off peak times providing much needed income to local shops, cafes and accommodation providers.
  • A world class visitor attraction that will attract new, and especially younger, visitors to the Lake District.
  • A year round visitor attraction that is fully disabled accessible
  • £800,000 spent on the improved infrastructure such as a cantilevered cycle underpass under the main A591, providing alternative, easier gradient climbs and descents for less experience riders, and improved safety on the stretches that are on the minor western road.
  • Improved cycle route from North to South encouraging low carbon transport
  • Provide major improvements and new sections for an 18km, family friendly, round the reservoir cycle track


Sustainable Transport and Tourism – the following are also supported by Core Strategy 04 and 24:

  • As above, £800,000 spent on the improved infrastructure such as a cantilevered cycle underpass under the main A591, providing alternative easier gradient climbs and descents for less experience riders, and improved safety on the stretches that are on the minor western road.
  • Improved cycle route from North to South encouraging low carbon transport
  • Provide major improvements and new sections for an 18km, family friendly, round the reservoir cycle track
  • Provide free shuttle bus services on peak days from the car parks around Thirlmere for all walkers, climbers, cyclists and zip line users.
  • Provide a bike bus from Keswick and Ambleside during peak months.
  • The scheme will have a minimal impact on traffic and the roads and car parks have the capacity for it.
  • The scheme appeals to the whole age range but particularly to younger families. This is important as that is the age range shown to be in decline as a visitor to the Lake District. True sustainability can only come if future generations love the National Park and want to look after it.

World Heritage Status

  • The scheme has been assessed as not proving harmful to the WHS in totality and providing many benefits
  • These include the interpretation of the 3 strands of Outstanding Universal Value identified in the World Heritage Status through talks to participants, through rangers, and through interpretation and information online, in leaflets and on-site panels.
  • This will attract a new generation who will learn to love the Lake District
  • Scheme will provide a new attraction to worldwide audience.

Landscape and Visual Impact

  • The scheme will have a minimal visual impact and moderate landscape impact for those sensitive to the development. However, the scheme has been designed to ensure that the launch and landing points are within trees, the path of the zip lines has the least impact on walkers and other users and has demonstrated the essential need for a rural location (CS04), that it is a sustainable tourism development that requires a specific geographical fixed resource (CS24) and is helping to deliver the Thirlmere Cycle way (CS04)

 

Environmental Impact

  • The scheme will have a minimal ecological impact specifically in the construction of new cycle track and paths.
  • It will accelerate the agreed conservation plans for the area in removing non-native fir trees and restoring native trees and ground flora.
  • We will provide opportunities for people to engage in healthier lifestyles
  • Improved access and egress gates for great stock control benefiting local farmers and cyclists, improved layout of the car parks to provide greater capacity and allow space for farming stock movement
  • Ongoing weekly inspection and maintenance of the infrastructure funded by the income from the zip lines 
  • Local legacy fund managed by Lake District Charitable Trust

Emerging Planning Policy
The three key objectives of the emerging planning policy are:

  • Promoting a year-round destination with more longer staying visitors supporting the economy.
  • Enhancing the visitor experience through improved attractions, high quality public realm and amenities, accessible visitor information and a better appreciation and understanding of the Lake District
  • Conservation and enhancement of the landscape of the Lake District and its attributes of Outstanding Universal Value and Special Qualities.

The Thirlmere Activity Hub meets all three of these new objectives.

 

A spokesperson for Treetop Trek Ltd said: “We believe passionately in the Thirlmere Activity Hub and the role it will play in growing the adventure capital in the Lake District to attract the next generation of visitors and need your help to make it happen.  We have chosen Thirlmere reservoir due to its easy accessibility via the A591 with the existing infrastructure of roads, forest tracks, managed forestry, car parks and toilet building.”

 

The planning process does not recognise mass produced letters or cut and pasted support or objections. It only takes account of individuals’ or organisations’ views on planning applications when they are related to planning policy matters and have clearly been written by each individual or organisation. Therefore, if you want to support the Thirlmere Activity Hub, please write your own reasons why.

The consultation for the Thirlmere application from Treetop Trek Ltd ends on the 12th of January.

All correspondence needs to be sent to planning@lakedistrict.gov.uk or in writing to Lake District National Park Authority, Murley Moss, Kendal, LA9 7RL and needs to have the Planning Ref 7/2017/2298 as the subject.  The full application can be accessed here.  You can find a summary of the proposal here 

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