Liverpool Central Library
The plans for the zip wire have divided the city

Anderson blocks Liverpool zip wire plans

Dan Whelan

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. 

Zip Wire Route

The zip wire was proposed to run between St Johns Beacon and Central Library

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.” 

Your Comments

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Would the mayoral election have anything to do with this u-turn?


By Michael McDonut

Take Zip World to the top of Lewis’s.

By The Crows Nest

What an absolute shambles this whole thing has been!

By Anonymous

I hope the Victorian Society still pursue their judicial review. In my view, the Council erred in law when they failed to request a Listed Building Consent application for the landing stage atop the library.

Despite what Joe says, there is still a planning permission at this site which can be implemented at any point in the next 3 years.

By Anonymous

I agree Anonymous. There is much to be gained from pursuing the JR and many reasons to continue to do so.

By Mike

The best location is never going to be in a busy city centre, or anywhere near the WHS. The derelict northern docks might work, or else Zip World should just cut its losses and go elsewhere. Liverpool is not desperate for the sort of visitors this proposal would bring, no matter what Frank McKenna has to say.

The city needs to attract more cultured visitors; not more stags, or lads up from Stoke, wreaking havoc, as can be seen every weekend and even during the week now.


Zip World might call objections and other legitimate concerns ” background noise”, but frankly that is patronising in the extreme, and is not taking seriously the nature of the objections at all.


“even the doubters readily accept the huge economic contribution an attraction like Zip World can bring to Liverpool”

No, I don’t.

By Mike

I’m sure the City Mayor read the feeling of the city, well at least of the people who are involved enough in the city to bother to vote, and then decided to intervene to appease…with an eye on next year’s City Mayoral elections.

By Old Hall Street

This has done nothing but damage Liverpool’s reputation as a place to invest and should have been laughed out the room when first suggested. It’s a sorry indictment of the leadership in Liverpool at the moment, a great city that deserves far better to realise it’s potential. Zip wire indeed.

By Michael McDonough

Is this government bias against Liverpool again?! First they took are office’s away then the zip wire! I changed my mind about the slide, it should go on saint George hall where the is more space to land and will make less noise!

By Mary Woolley

Not entirely sure why people are claiming that LCC have “erred in law” by not insisting that an LBC was submitted.

The failure would be by the applicant/developer if they commenced without such consent, if considered necessary.

To refuse to consider or otherwise determine an application based on the absence of LBC application would leave LCC open to challenges by the applicant.

By JohnMac

Is this the same Michael McDonough who pays his council tax in London, has online spats every day, and is unable to debate without childish name calling? The same person who refused to meet for a live debate with an offer of choosing 50% of the audience?

By Twitter spats r us

Why did this decision take so long to make? Anderson needs to stop listening to rent-a-quotes like Hatton and McKenna.

By John Smith

Such a shame. The Mayor’s intervention is regrettable.


By Liver lad


By Observer

Joke of a mayor. Much needed inward investment lost again, where more progressive cities would push forward. The expense of an application would not have been incurred by the developer unless outline heads of terms were agreed with the council. It is embarrassing to backtrack at this stage. The mayor has bowed to pressure from NIMBYs whom focus solely on preserving the past to the detriment of the cities future prosperity. The city will continue to fall behind regional “rivals” with this incompetent mayor and council.


That’s a shame. I would loved to have seen Anderson zipping down under the library.

By Simon

Electioneering? – this should have been said earlier .There’s been enough time and effort wasted plus a lot of column inches of comments, support and objections!

By at home

Don’t worry it will pop up in the place they really wanted it to go now – classic Joe move. Like St Julie’s going next to SFX – but not really. Going on Camp Hill what what they had their eyes on all the time. Watch this space. As for upsetting investors – I don’t think all investors want to invest in such stuff – and you have to weigh up where you are putting it and the damage you create as a bi product. I very much Manchester would put it in say Albert Square or York coming off the Grand Hotel. Put it somewhere befitting!

By Bob Dawson

Joe is the person who pushed it this far, then realised he would never get it past a judicial review and is now trying to look like a good guy. Don’t fall for this, he is the person who got it through the planning committee.

By Anonymous

It could have made Liverpool a lot of money but apparently it is turning into a city of snobs who think they are talking for everybody.

By choose life

Correct decision…totally the wrong place…..also doubtful usage figures . Heritage lobby will be pleased ….but their credibility has been massively undermined by their unjustified opposition to the new Everton stadium

By George..

Strange that a few individuals are claiming that not having a zip wire ruin a WHS site equates to us somehow becoming repellent to investment.

And not the city being the epicentre of fractional sales fraud on an epic scale, or numbers of its senior council officers being arrested.

By Mike

It should never have got passed planning consent. Tacky, tacky, tacky

By Anonymous

Place Northwest just can’t leave this non story alone.

By Gary

Im glad this has been stopped we have people living on are streets witb nowere to go i think the money would be better spent on building more homes or more places for are homeless people

By John Williams

@Gary it’s obviously not a non-story when it’s generating so much interest. Are you part of the group who would rather the media never reported on anything negative happening in Liverpool? Very North Korean of you…

By Anonymous

Well done, Joe.

By Matthew Jones

It is a shambles clearly Manchester is at fault for this

By Anonymous