• This development conflicts with the purposes of the National Park

There is a conflict between this development and the purposes of the Lake District National Park which would make it completely contrary to the Environment Act 1995 . The Act states that the purposes of National Parks are to:

  1. Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.
  2. Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of national parks by the public.

The Sandford principle as laid out in the Environment Act 1995 is clear as it states:

"If it appears that there is a conflict between those purposes, [the National Park Authority] shall attach greater weight to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area".

This principle is also concisely captured in Policy CS01 of the Lake District National Park’s own Core strategy.’

Given the landscape damage and impacts on the tranquillity and quiet enjoyment of the Lake District which would be caused by this development it is obvious that it would create conflict between the National Park purposes by causing damage to the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Thirlmere Valley. This development is therefore contrary to the Sandford Principle.

  • Impacts upon the landscape character of the Thirlmere Valley

‘The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework gives National Parks the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. The siting of this proposal would be detrimental to the landscape and scenic beauty of the Thirlmere valley by introducing incongruous development to the area, particularly on the Western shore.’

  • Impacts upon visual amenity (views)

From a distance, the 8 zipwires across the lake may have limited impacts on the view of those on the fells and roads in the valley.  However, when the zip wires are in use, the visual impacts will be much more apparent: those using the attraction will travel at speed across the 1km wide lake at right angles to the direction of the valley.  Those using the zip wire will be highlighted against the sky and visible to people walking and travelling through the area.

  • Impacts upon the tranquillity, particularly on the Western shore of Thirlmere

Away from the A591 the relatively undeveloped Western shore of Thirlmere has a strong sense of tranquillity and remoteness which is enjoyed by many people for recreation and quiet enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park. Introducing development here would be  damaging to the tranquillity of the area and a very small minority of people would deprive everyone else of the opportunity to enjoy the Thirlmere Valley for the very reasons the Lake District was designated.’

  • Increased transport pressures

The Thirlmere Valley is already well used for recreational activities. The creation of a hub in this open countryside location would increase traffic demands on an area which is already very busy on the eastern side of the lake and exacerbate the impacts including noise and air pollution as well as limiting the parking provision for those who want to enjoy the free access to the National Park currently afforded to them.’

  • Impact on World Heritage Site Outstanding Universal Value

‘The Thirlmere Valley makes an important contribution to the Lake District’s new designation as a World Heritage Site. The resistance to the creation of the Thirlmere Reservoir to provide Manchester with water in the 1870s was a seminal moment in the history of landscape protection in the UK and beyond. The birth of the modern conservation movement is one of the reasons that the Lake District was designated as a World Heritage Site.

This battle brought in to focus the fact that landscapes matter to everyone. Management of visitor pressures is key to the successful retention of World Heritage Site status. If this development was permitted it would intensify visitor pressure in the Thirlmere Valley.’

  • The issue of precedent

‘If this proposal is permitted it would be the thin end of the wedge as it would set a precedent that this type of development is acceptable within the open countryside regardless of the detrimental impacts upon the National park. The impacts of that would be far reaching not only in the Thirlmere Valley but across the Lake District National Park and other National Parks.