Plans for the installation of a controversial zip wire in the heart of Liverpool City Centre have reached the end of the line after Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson announced his opposition to the installation.
Zip Work secured planning permission from Liverpool City Council for a 400 metre-long ride, where thrill-seekers would glide over some of Liverpool’s best-loved attractions.
The decision was met with controversy from businesses and residents alike. Many felt that the zip wire encouraged the “Disneyfication” of many of Liverpool’s World Heritage sites.
What’s more, there was even a legal challenge from the local heritage group, The Victorian Society, over the “inappropriate” nature of the installation. The society subsequently made an application to the High Court for a judicial review into the decision made by the Council.
Today, however, Liverpool Major Anderson announced the decision to use Liverpool Central Library as a landing point was overturned.
Mayor Anderson told Mersey Community News: “The Planning Committee is an independent group of councillors, who have a quasi-judicial role looking at the lawful application made by this company to operate a zip wire in this vicinity.
“The Committee agreed the planning officer’s recommendation and acted fairly and democratically in granting this application, despite what objectors say. As Mayor, I do not interfere in the planning process. However, I do have the final decision on whether a building owned by the Council should be used in such a way.
“I have serious concerns about using this area, and having spoken to the company could not let them progress further, knowing I would not support it.
“I have today informed them that I will not give permission for any council owned building in this area to be used for the zip wire. They have accepted my position and we have mutually agreed to work together to identify an alternative option.
“I would like to thank Zip World for their co-operation and look forward to them working with us. Liverpool will always try and support imaginative ideas, especially those that can help us support businesses in difficult economic times.”
Liverpool’s local Planning Committee approved a proposal for the controversial zip wire to be installed last June.
Costing £5 million to erect, the zip wire would have given riders a full view of the historic St George’s Place, St John’s Gardens and William Brown Street before touching down on the roof of the library.
In response to Mayor Anderson’s announcement, Zip World is set to work alongside the Council to find a new location.
A spokesperson for Zip World said: “On the basis of the discussion with Mayor Anderson, we no longer propose to pursue an application at this location further and look forward to working with the council to identify a suitable alternative location.”