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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Bonington slams Lake District planners over zip wire row

SIR Chris Bonington has spoken out against the decision to reject Honister Slate Mine's plans for a zip wire - and condemned Friends of the Lake District for opposing the idea.

Speaking earlier today on Radio Cumbria, Sir Chris admitted to being appalled at the presentation made by The Friends of the Lake District, who strongly opposed the plans.

Britain’s most famous mountaineer also resigned as vice-president of the group, calling for attitudes to change for the sake of the Lake District.

He said: “They are absolutely right to appeal, it was a most unreasonable decision by the authority. I was appalled by the presentation that the Friends of the Lake District made to oppose it, and they had made up their minds in advance.

“They weren’t listening and taking into account any factors. And I’m afraid the same has got to be said of the majority of board members that voted against it. “

“The national park officers and Honister Slate Mine got together and produced an application that seems absolutely acceptable to me.

“The zipwire itself is exciting and it goes some way to making the modern Lake District the adventure capital of the UK. It will attract people in and be good for the economy itself.

“In no way does it do any harm whatsoever to the environment or break any of the national park principles.

“Its designed now so you barely see it and it is very well concealed running down the side of the crag. There’s no visual impact, no audio impact in the sense of people sliding down the zip wire.

“I personally think they should look at themselves very very carefully. If they go on like this I think it’s a kind of innate rejection of any kind of development.

“The Lake District National Park is a living exciting organism where people change and the kind of things that the younger generation want to do change as well.

“This project in no way spoils the fells or anyone’s enjoyment of them, so they need to look at themselves and why they are rejecting things and the whole planning process.”

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