Cumbria

Sir Chris Bonington resigns over zip wire rejection

Sir Chris Bonington
Image caption Sir Chris will support an appeal against the rejection

Mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington has resigned from a charity after plans to build a zip wire across the fells of the Lake District were rejected.

He supports the proposals for Honister Slate Mine but the Friends of the Lake District (FLD), of which he was vice president, is against the scheme.

It was rejected by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) planning committee on Wednesday.

Sir Chris said advice from National Park officers had been ignored.

'Made their minds up'

He believes the FLD has not taken notice of the economic boost that the mile-long zip wire would provide.

Sir Chris said: "The stance of the FLD and the board members opposing the application was that they had nothing against the concept of the zip wire.

"But Honister Slate Mine was the wrong place on the high Lakeland Fells and was therefore against the LDNPA principles and policy.

"They seemed to have made up their minds before the meeting and ignored the very clear and full briefing given by their National Park officers."

Sir Chris said the officers had worked closely with Honister Slate Mine on the latest application to ensure the zip wire would have minimal visual and environmental impact and was within LDNPA guidelines.

Jack Ellerby from the FLD said: "In many ways, Chris's issue is not with us.

"It was the LDNPA members that made the decision and, from our point of view, we think they made the right decision for the long-term interests of the Lake District.

"We've got nothing against Honister; we want to be able to work with them to be able to find positive solutions bringing in new income streams."

The LDNPA had previously rejected plans that were presented in 2010, as it felt the scheme would be detrimental to the environment.

A Honister Slate Mine spokesperson said there would be an appeal against the latest decision.

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