OPPOSITION is mounting to plans to create the UK's first 850-metre long concrete luge run and visitor attraction in the Eden Valley.

All three parish councils affected by the proposed development at Blaze Fell, near Armathwaite, are now making formal objections.

Hundreds of objections have been received by Eden District Council and similar numbers have already signed a petition to 'Save Blaze Fell' on change.org which started only this week.

While the landowners say it would bring a boost to the county's economy, some are concerned about the impact it would have on the local landscape.

On Tuesday night Ainstable parish councillors decided to object to the application made by the landowner Charles Lowther and businessman Daniel Holder for the luge run, chair lift and glass-sided two-storey reception building with parking for more than 100 cars at 725ft above sea level on the top of the fell.

They have joined with objections from Lazonby parish council, in whose area the application is situated, and with Hesket parish councillors who agreed to support Lazonby in its objection.

Ainstable parish council held the extraordinary meeting on Tuesday after calls from local objectors to discuss the application, which has attracted huge opposition from Eden residents and from people living outside the area.

Eden District Council has received more than 300 objections from individuals and organisations, including the Friends of the Lake District and Cumbria Wildlife Trust, as well as stipulations from other bodies including United Utilities for surveys and assessments to be carried out.

The Ainstable meeting was attended by about 50 people from Ainstable parish and beyond, four of whom spoke at the meeting about the objections to the application on a ‘gateway’ to the Eden Valley and this included images of Blaze Fell and the application site.

Among the objectors at the meeting were Lazonby parish councillors, chairman Christine West and Andrew Miller, who said he feared an eventual 'Centre Parcs' type of development at Nord Vue.

Ainstable resident Lyndsay Wise described the application as a ‘greenwash’ and said it was in breach of 11 policy objectives in the Eden Local Plan.

The application did not offer social, environmental or economic benefits to the area, it was argued.

Issues raised by objectors include whether the current road system will cope with the 256 cars a day to the luge estimated by the developers, potential drainage problems from the site and the sewerage arrangements, and the damage to the environment and wildlife from creating the luge run alone with an estimated 710 tonnes of concrete and 1,600 tonnes of hardcore and concrete – as well as the operation of the visitor attraction

Commenting on the economic benefits of the attraction, which the developers say will create the equivalent of 15 full-time jobs, Ainstable parish council chairman Nigel Vear said the level of unemployment in the area was less than one per cent with only one person registered as unemployed in Ainstable parish and seven in Lazonby parish – and local hospitality businesses were currently struggling to fill vacancies.

Councillor Geoff Proud said the development, which he described as 'commercialisation in the Eden Valley', would only benefit two people – the developers.

Mr Holder, owner of The Quiet Site at Watermillock, has described the development as an 'exciting project'.

He said: “Fully sustainable attractions in the UK are thin on the ground but this one ticks all the green boxes.

"It will be carbon neutral, energy positive, community positive, ecology positive, zero waste, have no visual impact and little transport impact.”

He said it would be popular both locally and nationally with locals benefitting from initial complimentary and ongoing discounted rides.

In addition, schools will be offered discounted visits for science classes engaging in subjects such as gravity, friction, kinetic and potential energy.