Scarborough zip line: Major plan returns with new recommendation for refusal

Councillors have been asked to refuse plans for a 650m long zip wire attraction in Scarborough for a second time.

An amended proposal for a 35m high zip line experience in Scarborough’s North Bay could be refused at a meeting next Thursday (April 11) after the scheme was delayed in February.

Councillors have been asked to refuse Big Bang Promotions’ (BBP) plan for the second time in two months over concerns about “significant harm to the character and appearance of the area”.

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At the last meeting, councillors chose to defer a decision to allow the applicant to amend the plan but planning officers have said that the changes do not “significantly reduce the overall visual or heritage impacts of the development”.

Amended North Bay zip line plans. Courtesy ZipnZapAmended North Bay zip line plans. Courtesy ZipnZap
Amended North Bay zip line plans. Courtesy ZipnZap

As part of the changes, BBP is now seeking temporary planning permission for five years, and would leave out most of the cladding from the launch tower, keeping “only what is required for security at ground level”.

This would leave most of the launch tower exposed in an off-white colour while the landing tower’s cladding has also been amended from blue to a “green contour graphic design”.

Councillors on the Scarborough and Whitby area planning committee described the attraction as “desperately needed” but said that changes were required to make it acceptable.

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More than 170 locals wrote letters in support of the plan and more than 40 letters of objection were received.

James Field, owner of BBP, also emphasised the economic benefits of the zip line which he said would be one of the largest and longest” in the UK and could “reposition Scarborough as a forward-thinking destination” as well as creating dozens of jobs.

However, the local planning authority has told councillors that there are “no public benefits – including the tourism benefits of the scheme – which outweigh the identified harm” that would be caused by the scheme’s approval.

A planning report states: “Albeit reduced by the temporary nature of the amended proposal, harm would arise even if for a five-year period.”

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The zip line would run from the former Mr Marvel’s Leisure Park to the south of the Scalby Mills Miniature Railway Station.

Councillors will meet at Scarborough Town Hall on Thursday, April 11 to make a decision on the amended full planning application.

Despite the recommendation for refusal, they could defer the scheme again, approve it, or request the addition of conditions alongside possible approval.

The meeting, which starts at 2pm, is open to members of the public.

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