Will zip wire and surf wave plan for Bournemouth Pier be second time lucky?

A FRESH attempt is being made to boost the appeal of Bournemouth Pierwith a zip wire and standing surf wave.

Councillors turned down plans for a nautical-themed high ropes course and a zip line attraction back in January, claiming the attraction would be overbearing.

But Openwide International, which has a lease agreement on the pier, has come back with a revised application for just a zip wire and standing surf wave.

The design has also been altered to be more sympathetic to the historic pier.

The company has long claimed the pier toll – which is imposed and retained by Bournemouth council – deters a large number of visitors and extra attractions are needed to boost the pier’s appeal.

Director Rory Holburn said: “We’ve worked with the various officers of the council and gone through planning consultation to develop this attraction.

“They wanted to see something more empathetic to the pier and that is what we have worked on.”

When asked whether he felt the reduced attractions would be enough to draw visitors, he said: “It’s a start, alongside the other plans that we have hopefully to regenerate the inside of the old theatre building. It’s getting enough critical mass to make the scheme work. “It’s still difficult, it’s nowhere near as safe as the larger scheme economically but if it’s all that’s aesthetically acceptable we will try hard to make that work.”

The plans are supported by the Bournemouth Accommodation and Hotel Association but not by Bournemouth Civic Society.

Their objection to planners states: “We feel that this is rather a cheapjack entertainment gimmick and not really suitable for a first-class holiday resort such as Bournemouth.

“It would certainly not be an appropriate addition to the long-term improvements envisaged for the seafront; in addition high winds would make the operation of such a facility somewhat dangerous to say the least.”

Bournemouth Echo

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