Zip World’s controversial proposal to install a 400-metre zip wire between St Johns Beacon and Central Library have been dealt a severe blow after Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson intervened to stop the £4m project from progressing, citing “serious concerns” over the impact on the surrounding area.
Sean Taylor, Zip World’s co-founder and president, said the announcement was a “setback” but the company accepted Anderson’s decision and would resubmit a fresh proposal with “a new landing point” with the starting point of the wire remaining the same.
Anderson said: “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.”
The plan was approved at planning committee in June sparking anger among councillors, residents and conservation groups.
However, the move was supported by a group of retail and hospitality businesses which claimed the attraction would provide a much-needed shot in the arm for city centre trade.
Anderson added: “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 with the planning officer’s recommendation and acted fairly and democratically in granting this application, despite what objectors say.
“I have today informed [Zip World] that I will not give permission for any council-owned building in this area to be used for the zip wire. [The company] has 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.”
Taylor said: “We have long said that we take the views of all stakeholders seriously but even the doubters readily accept the huge economic contribution an attraction like Zip World can bring to Liverpool.
“We have had tremendous support from the business community and despite the background noise on social media, Zip World has a great deal of support from local people. I am sure there is a big future for Zip World in Liverpool.”