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A SNOWDONIA tourist attraction which boasts the fastest zip-line in the world  wants to expand its facilities with the relocation of a vintage style tram to be used as a cafe.

Zip World Ltd at Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda is also calling for retrospective planning permission for an existing covered area.

The canopy, in place since August 17,  provides a sheltered area for visitors to get ‘kitted up’ ahead of the adventure activities .

The company has applied to Gwynedd Council, through agents Cadnant Planning for the erection of a ‘kit-up’ canopy (retrospective) and change of use of land to site a tram for serving food and beverages.”

The application claims the plans would extend tourist facilities and could create four part-time jobs.

Planners will consider the application site, which is considered to be  in “a sensitive location” in respect of the World Heritage Site and close to a scheduled monument.

A report by the agent claims:

“Given the nature and character of the application site which relates closely to the existing Zip World adventure facilities and HQ building, the proposals themselves are considered in line with the relevant national and local planning policies and guidance.”

“…in addition to this they will support and extend the range
of existing facilities and also retain employment opportunities.”

The outdoor adventure tourism provider first opened a zip line
adventure in the quarry back in 2013.

The Velocity attraction sees visitors soaring over the quarry at speeds of up to and over 100 mph.

The application comprises two areas of land within a 450.00 square metre area of the quarry area, close to the Zip World headquarters and terminal building.

The plans read:

“The canopy has already been erected, and this
application therefore seeks retrospective planning permission for this structure.”

It is made of solid timber round wood masts and has poles with stainless steel rigging and bracketry, with off-white tent material.

“The canopy would be located on an existing hard standing immediately behind the main Zip World building, where it is well screened by both the building and the surrounding landscaping.” The report reads.

“The proposed temporary food and beverage outlet will comprise of the tram that is already on the site, being relocated to the new position.

“A five-year temporary period is proposed. The tram has a vintage look and has two floors, the top floor comprising an open platform.”

It will be located in an area used at present for outdoor seating, viewing and
contains picnic benches and a slate statue.”

The red tram would be considered as a “temporary structure” that could be easily moved if required.

Proposed opening hours are Monday to Friday, 7am to 9pm, Saturday, 7am to 9pm, and  Sunday/Bank Holidays, 7am to 9pm – slightly longer than the zip-line opening hours,  “to allow visitors to be able to purchase a snack or drink whilst waiting for the zip-line to open or following their adventure activity experience.

Within the plans, a letter from environmental health officer Moira Duell-Parri called for more information, saying:

“I am writing in response to the above request for temporary provision (5 years) for a catering unit in Zip World. I would like additional information on certain issues.

“The unit is open to members of the public, and not limited to users of the activities only, in addition this extends the time that people will be on the site, and to a later time at night.  

“There is the Blondin restaurant on site which closes at 5pm. I am not sure if the facilities will be open for use.  

It adds “There is no mention of the adequacy or availability of toilet and toilet provision.”

The business currently has 13 adventure centres in North Wales, across sites in Snowdonia, including Penrhyn Quarry, Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Zip World Fforest, Betws y Coed. Another is at the Tower Colliery,  South Wales

Zip World was contacted for comment.


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