A proposal for an aerial adventure course in east Leeds has now moved to the next stage.
This follows the results of a public consultation held earlier in the year, which asked the residents of Leeds for their thoughts on a woodland site in Temple Newsam Park known locally as Menagerie Wood, being the location for a high ropes ‘Go Ape’ attraction. In putting forward the site, it was felt that such a facility could entice more visitors to the wider estate, attract new investment opportunities and help local groups such as the Friends of Temple Newsam, meet their ambitions for the local area.
The results of the public consultation found that 60% of respondents were supportive of the idea, with 32% against, and 8% neutral. Taking these results into account, Go Ape has now submitted a formal planning application to the council. As part of this process, a formal public consultation has now opened and will close on 1 September.
The council has said from the very beginning that it would not consider any potential plans for an attraction like Go Ape in Leeds if it would result in any privatisation of a public park. If the adventure course was given the go-ahead at Menagerie Wood it would be undertaken as part of a lease-licence arrangement with the operator.
To view the results of the initial public consultation, please see: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Parks-and-Countryside-consultations.aspx
To view the planning application (reference number: 17/04217/FU) and also take part in the formal public consultation, please see: https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and sustainability, said:
“Having assessed the details of the initial public consultation, we have seen overall, a positive response to the potential of a Go Ape attraction opening at Menagerie Wood in Temple Newsam.
“Go Ape have now submitted a formal planning application which will include a formal public consultation process that everyone is welcome to contribute to if they wish.
“Since the idea of such an attraction has been suggested to open in Leeds, we know there have been concerns raised around certain issues. This has included the suggestion, that if such an attraction was situated in a public park, it could lead to a potential part-privatising of the green space. I want to make it very clear that this is not the case, and we would not consider any proposal that put forward this idea as part of their plans. Lovers of the woodland area can also be assured that if this proposal is given the go-ahead, it will be remain open and accessible to the public for their continued enjoyment.”
Ben Davies, head of business development at Go Ape, said:
“We are excited to have submitted a formal planning application to create a Go Ape course at Temple Newsam and we believe it will be a great addition to the area bringing fun and adventure whilst making a positive economic contribution.
“We have already held extensive consultations and we know there is a lot of support from the local community for our Tree Top Adventure course. As well as creating adventures and encouraging people to live life adventurously we are committed to investing in the local economy and creating jobs as well as an exceptional experience that the people of Leeds can be proud of.”