Scarborough zip line plans approved despite calls for 750m high wire attraction to be refused permission to open

Plans for a 650m long adventure zip line experience in Scarborough’s North Bay have been approved by councillors despite concerns about visual impacts.

A 35m high zip wire experience consisting of several wires between two steel-framed towers in Scarborough’s North Bay has been approved

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

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Councillors on the Scarborough and Whitby area planning committee voted to approve the attraction on Thursday, April 11 despite a recommendation for the scheme to be rejected.

Amended North Bay zip line plansAmended North Bay zip line plans
Amended North Bay zip line plans

Owner of the applicant Big Bang Promotions, James Field, said his company would “start work to get the site ready straight away” and “hopefully have it ready this summer”

Committee members were divided on the merits of the proposal and highlighted the tourism benefits of the plan as well as the need to protect the natural heritage of the area.

Big Bang Promotions’ (BBP) plan had been recommended for refusal by North Yorkshire Council over concerns it would cause “significant harm” to the character of the area.

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Speaking at the meeting, Coun Rich Maw said: “This is perfect for Scarborough. If we reject the plan, what kind of message does it send out to other potential investors?

“The public will shake their heads in disgrace if we turn this away”

However, Coun Subash Sharma said that protecting the North Bay’s amenity took priority, stating that “there is no intention to bring additional tourism”.

He added: “It would intrude into the quiet enjoyment of people who already come and enjoy the amenities.”

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The applicant and owner of BBP, James Field, said he was “delighted” as it was “a fantastic opportunity for Scarborough”,

“We are very pleased as it’s been a very long process which we first started looking at during Covid.”

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service after the meeting, Mr Field said: “We’re looking at bringing a lot of visitors and families to Scarborough, people who haven’t been for a long time, and we’re looking to work with local businesses and create partnerships”.

Coun Heather Phillips commented on the proposal: “Scarborough is open to business”

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

Most of those watching the meeting from the public gallery at Scarborough Town Hall said they were in favour of the plan.

Local resident, Michael Knaggs, said: “Scarborough’s North Bay needs something like this and it would bring in an awful lot of people. It’s not really my thing but I can see the attraction of it.”

However, former Scarborough councillor, Guy Smith, told the LDRS he opposed the plan because “the site is very derelict and just the wrong location […] so it would be like putting a brand new ride in the middle of a tip.”

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After a previous deferral of the plans in February, the applicant had modified the proposal and said it was seeking temporary planning permission for five years.

Mr Field added that his company would “pay upfront for the removal of the towers” if councillors wanted them removed when the permission for the attraction expired.

The new plans also leave out most of the cladding from the launch tower, keeping “only what is required for security at ground level”.