Councillors should refuse plans for a 650m long zip line experience on Scarborough’s seaside despite more than a hundred letters of support, a report has said.
Big Bang Promotions’ application has been recommended for refusal by North Yorkshire Council despite more than 170 locals writing letters in support of the plan. More than 40 letters of objection were also received.
The council said that the 35m high zip line adventure experience in Scarborough’s North Bay would cause “significant harm” to the character of the area.
Many residents said that the plan – on the site of the former Marvel’s Amusement Park – would attract more visitors to the town, boost local businesses, and provide local employment opportunities.
A report prepared for an upcoming planning meeting notes that the zip line attraction is “acceptable in principle” and would provide employment for 10 full-time and 40 part-time staff “which is not insignificant”.
If approved, the zip line attraction would include several wires between two steel-framed towers, across a distance of 650m in length.
The launch tower and landing tower would measure 35m and 19m in height, respectively.
The launch zone would also contain reception facilities, marquees, gazebos and up to five toilets, as well as a staff welfare unit and a shop.
Councillors on the Scarborough and Whitby planning committee will meet on Thursday, 8 February, to decide on the plans.
‘Visually dominant and alien’
Planning officers said that the impact of the proposed towers on Scarborough’s conservation area and the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast was the key issue in recommending refusal.
They described the proposed structures as “a visually dominant and alien feature which would have a transformational impact on the coastal environment and its distinctive character”.
The meeting report states: “The launch tower would not be a positive addition to the skyline[…] and would not contribute positively to the open character of the seafront.
“[It] would cause significant harm to visual amenity and detract from the established coastal tourism character of the area.”
No objections to the proposal were raised by the council’s environmental health team and it was considered that the proposal would not result in “undue noise and disturbance for local residents”.
However, a heritage advisor supported the opinion that visual harm from the towers was “not convincingly justified”.
Despite noting potential positive impacts, the report concluded that no benefits “outweigh the identified harm and consequent policy conflicts”.
The planning meeting, on February 8, is open to members of the public and will be held at Scarborough Town Hall at 2pm.