Denbighshire Council has approved ZipWorld’s plan to create ‘SkyFlyer’, an attraction on the site of the former Sun Centre water park.
ZipWorld, the company behind a failed attempt to install a 400-metre zip wire in Liverpool City Centre, lodged plans for the Rhyl SkyFlyer scheme in March.
The attraction, to be operated by ZipWorld subsidiary Skyscaper World, will see up to 30 riders at a time taken 400ft in the air on board a gondola beneath a SkyFlyer-branded blimp.
SkyFlyer could open next May, according to ZipWorld founder Sean Taylor.
Addressing Denbighshire Council’s planning committee, Taylor said the attraction was “certainly not an adrenaline ride, but more of a visual attraction.”
Cllr Tony Thomas said the scheme would be a “great asset” to Rhyl.
“This will be an iconic development for Rhyl and will certainly bring in a lot of business and people and enhance the area,” he said. “At the moment it is an empty plot of land. A few things have been mooted but this is by far the best I have seen.”
Denbighshire’s planning committee granted unanimous approval to the project.
The proposed development would be the only operational SkyFlyer balloon attraction in the world, providing an unique selling point opportunity for Rhyl, according to planning consultant Cadnant Planning.
The development includes temporary buildings to house a ‘meet and greet’ facility for the SkyFlyer balloon, as well as toilet facilities for visitors.
Wales-based ZipWorld is delivering the scheme in partnership with Denbighshire Leisure, an offshoot of Denbighshire Council.
The attraction is designed by Lindstrand Technologies, a company run by Per Lindstrand, a Swedish aeronautical engineer and entrepreneur.
The scheme forms part of the wider regeneration of the seafront site, which includes SC2, an indoor waterpark created as a replacement for the Sun Centre, and the recently refurbished Rhyl Pavilion Theatre.
Under the outline consent proposing the revamp of 11 acres of Rhyl’s waterfront, the SkyFlyer site was earmarked for a 43,000 sq ft events venue. However, this plan has not progressed.
In Liverpool, ZipWorld won consent for an attraction that would have seen the installation of a zip wire between St John’s Beacon to Central Library, sparking anger among residents and conservation groups.
However, former Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson intervened, rescinding planning permission.
Speaking to Place North West at the time, Taylor said the company was no longer pursuing a scheme in Liverpool after the zip wire experience left “a bitter taste in the mouth”.