Liverpool mayor blocks controversial zip wire proposal

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has blocked a controversial plan for a zip wire in the city centre, citing “serious concerns” about the scheme.

Liverpool Central Library (Pic: Ell Brown, licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Liverpool Central Library (Pic: Ell Brown, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

In June, Liverpool City Council's planning committee approved an application for a zip wire, which would cross St Johns Gardens behind St George’s Hall and end on the roof of the Central Library, a listed building in the city's World Heritage Site. 

Anderson, the city's elected mayor, said the planning committee “acted fairly and democratically” in granting the application, but added: “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.”

He said that he and the applicant Zip World have "mutually agreed to work together to identify an alternative option", adding: “Liverpool will always try and support imaginative ideas, especially those that can help us support businesses in difficult economic times.”

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.”

The mayor’s intervention in the scheme comes after the Victorian Society last month launched a legal bid to overturn the council’s planning permission for the zip wire. The group argued that the scheme needs listed building consent and that officers failed to properly advise members on its potential heritage impacts.

The planning committee report by officers said the proposed development would cause "some harm to designated heritage assets", but this would be outweighed by its public benefits.

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