|All links open in a new window.|
We have been sent an article which details the application at the Go Ape site at Winlatter Forest Park, in Cumbria. It seems that Go Ape have set up their site here without planning permission, as of 5th August 2009. "...20 months after the permission to build the Go Ape and Altura Trail had been agreed, in the words of Mr McGowan "planning permission has not been granted". The reason for this is that the LDNPA has failed to ensure that the Forestry Commission had signed the Sct 106 Agreement, which was an obligation in order to activate the planning consent.
The consequence of this failure is, again in the words of Mr McGowan, that "the Go Ape course has been installed without planning permission". See full story here
Ape - we chopped down 18 trees 'by mistake'
When the plans have been submitted, we will be calling a meeting of “Friends of Lever Park” supporters, and hopefully we will also be in a position to bring the supporters upto date on the LGO investigation and the ICO investigation. " Source
|Confusion over the Special needs path?|
When recently questioned about the special needs path, representatives from Go Ape thought it was the cycle route. This demonstrates a level of contempt for the park's special needs users and the planning process. It also strengthens our belief that the consultations, papers and reports that have been submitted to support Go Ape's proposal are, at best, lacking in comprehension, detail, and in the spirit of genuine public concern for the private use of a public asset. How can we believe that Go Ape are being socially aware when it seems that they haven't consulted to establish any information about the impact that their development will cause to these park users, and the invaluable Special needs path, taking users through beautiful open woods, unrestricted and quiet. See details here
|Natural England object to Go Ape application!|
|We have received notice from Natural England that they have formally objected to the Go Ape planning application, on the grounds of disturbance to Otters. Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. "We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone."|
|Dr. McBride reports - negative impact on animals at Itchen Valley Country Park|
We have been sent a copy of the expert opinion submitted in the planning objection by Dr. Anne McBride, Director - Applied Animal Behaviour Unit at Southampton University. After visiting the site on 7th November 2009, Dr. McBride's report raises grave concerns over the impact of the noise from the proposed Go Ape site in the context of the the birds, dogs, horses, riders and public that use the park, woods and copses. This is available to view on our website with the kind permission of the author.
Click for more
Go Ape encourage customers to bring alcohol into our park...
West End Parish Council votes against Go Ape! at Itchen Valley Country Park. 9-1 voted against the proposal. See full story and comments Here
Eastleigh Council finally direct comments for the application to their own website! Until November 2nd 2009, the Council website invited your opinions about this matter to be sent directly to the Go Ape company. As Go Ape have a financial interest, this process did not allow people to "...have the chance to have their say about the proposal.." as claimed in the previous website. In summary, council officers were taking a poll of public opinion from the developer. On 3/11/09, the Council website replaced the invitation to send your opinions on this development to Go Ape with an invitation to comment on the planning application directly. Click for more
Eastleigh Borough Council to rule on Go Ape plans for Itchen Valley Country Park Daily Echo confirm the planning application. As directed by Eastleigh Councils website, (until 02/11/09 - link now removed) Go Ape report “We have been pleased to receive several hundred responses, the clear majority of which have been in favour.” However we have no way of knowing this. There is an on-line poll included in this article - please consider clicking 'NO' Click for more
plans not popular with residents near Itchen Valley James
Maden's solely positive piece on Fri 16th in the Daily Echo about his
great day out at Go Ape. His description of his wonderful experience has
an electronic vote counter underneath it asking whether the people want
a Go Ape development in Itchen Valley Country Park, but the article fails
to present a balanced argument. Click
Disclaimer: Unless where referenced otherwise, the following quotes are taken, unedited, from the Save Pollok Park , Friends of Lever Park campaign websites, and GoPetition, via the FIVCP website. They do not represent our opinion, but merely shed light on others, and serve to highlight the similarities between these applications in relation to Go Ape, the public & park users, the planning process and the planners,in the context of the recent ecological and social shift in policy, by placing Go Ape developments in small public assets. We have referenced each quote to its' source, except the GoPetition quotes, which do not have a unique URL. We accept no responsibility for the content of external websites.
From Tristram Mayhew - Co Founder, Go ape
"We always commission an in-depth environmental impact study by suitably recognised, qualified and independent consultants. "In the case of Pollok Park, we are confident the environmental impact assessment was carried out sensitively to a standard which satisfies the local planning process."
Online Evening times
Bill Fraser - Pollock Park Spokesman
Save Pollok Park spokesman Bill Fraser said: "The city council didn't do its homework. "There was no proper environmental study done. We think the whole thing was inept and sloppy."
Online Evening times
Take heart from Save Pollok Park's campaign which successfully stopped Go Ape in Pollok Park in Glasgow. Throughout the campaign Go Ape suggested they would listen to public opinion on the proposed development, but certainly did not seem to. Good luck with the campaign to protect your local county park. You can do it!!!!
Blog entry by Neil Infield,
from British Library Business & IP Centre website, re: Tristram
Mayhew - Co Founder, Go ape
Gorilla marketing means turning your customers
into an effective free sales force. These are his tips:
From Tristram Mayhew
- Co Founder, Go ape
From Lever Park
'Son et lumière'
comes to IVCP
Drumming workshops at IVCP!
watch' re: Pollok Park
We exposed Glasgow Council’s flawed public consultation process, their cavalier treatment towards the National Trust for Scotland and that the Council and Go Ape’s statements that they would only come to Pollok Park if the people of Glasgow wanted them as a con
We exposed the the fact that Councillors were misled when they approved the proposal in 2007 – because they were not told of the legal agreement in place which mean that NTS consent is needed to certain developments – nor were they told that Pollok Park is Common Good Land – it cannot be alianated and anyway the projected commercial deal to raise money for Council services is a non-starter
We exposed the “offer ” by Go Ape of 450 free places to Glasgow schoolchildren as a con – head teachers were not asked if they would agree to the health and safety requirements or to virtually shutting schools down to enable enough teachers to accompany the pupils- we did ask and we have not found one school who said they would take up the “offer”
We have exposed the poverty of the planning application- the lack of public toilets, no parking survey was done, no study of the flora to be affected was done, the less than truthful assertion that ” we would have to look up to notice anything at all ” the visual and noise pollution of the fences and zip wires in an area of national landscape importance . Despite this 14 Councillors voted through the application – but now the Council has recognised the flaws and is trying to get round them – see News and Updates
We rallied over 5000 signatures , held public
meetings of 700+ and a vigil of 1000 people . We have shown that we are
not a small group of “NIMBYs but people from all over Glasgow and
beyond who value the gift to the “Nation and the Citizens of Glasgow
“ that is Pollok Park and are determined to safeguard it as it was
intended even if the Council seems to have abandoned its obligations under
the terms of the original gift We have
supported other campaigns in UK fighting GoApe proposals in equally unsuitable
sites and exposed that they cannot be trusted – eg they have illegally
felled trees in Chorley
From Lever Park
"Sadly, this means that they’re looking for just the unspoilt, quiet, areas that wildlife and the majority of local people regard as ‘their’ local patch of countryside. Looks like they are looking for the same type of sites in Australia!
A few points that we’ve learned from experience:
* Complain, and complain
early. We were slow off the mark here in Rivington and the planning process
was already well underway before we realised what was happening.
This development went through Delegated Powers
because of apathy, local representation was to laid back .If you want
to protect Rivington and Lever Park, it will need more than meeting for
Her call for a pressure group to moderate the development of the country parks follows the ditched plans for a Go Ape venture in Thorndon Country Park in 2006.
Critics argued that if given the go-ahead the plans for the high ropes adventure course would have paved the way for destructive commercial development in the park. Cllr Chilvers said: “With us entering into the partnership arrangement we need to ensure that the parks are fully funded so we are not tempted into commercialisation at all or not too much.
“The cafe at Thorndon Park is well
used and I know there was talk of extending it to sell hot food. That
is acceptable but to take the most extreme examples, Starbucks or McDonald's,
then that would not be.”
Being the mother of a child with Asperger Syndrome, we value the peace and tranquility that the park provides to our family. In this chaotic world, the park is a place where we can recharge our batteries, without the fear of noise and stress that we encounter in our daily life. Please , save this wonderful, peaceful and rare park for future generations.
I take a number of my older friends up to the park and they love these woods because they can take a walk and the ground is good. I think this is a despicable idea to rob people of their peaceful places. It is clearly not needed if another facility 2 miles away is underused. Shame on you Eastleigh Borough Council.
This is happening all over UK, and it needs to be stopped. The company must be shown that they must leave small woods alone
I find this application utterly dismaying. The key objections must be the disturbance to wildlife and the reduction of a valuable public amenity in favour of commercial gain. I urge those responsible for considering this application to refuse it.
There is a Go Ape within driving distance of here at Moor Valley we do not need one at Itchen Valley it should stay as a peaceful place
The proposed development seems entirely out of scale and keeping with the site, which is enjoyed for quiet recreation and forms part of an area of high wildlife value, and will remove public access to an area currently enjoyed as a public good.
What's the use of having a management plan for conservation of the park if you don't adhere to it? Lots of families spend time in the park, pond dipping, watching birds or trying to spot deer on their walks through the woods. This is a country park not a THEME park!
I'm a river keeper with 15 years experience on both the Itchen & Test. I firmly believe that the noise from the course and the inevitable drumming workshops together with the general disturbance generated by an extra 30,000 visitors WILL disturb or even drive out the Otters & Water Voles (which are both legally protected). I have personally observed Otters, by day and night with the use of night vision aids, along the river banks directly below the proposed site (which is only c. 30m away)..
we do not want itchen valley park to be ruined, keep it as the lovely quiet green space that it is. the amount of rubbish left behind during the summer by ignorant users of the park will only escalate if "go ape" goes ahead and cause untold distress and harm to the wildlife. ive been using the park on a daily basis for over 15years now and would be devasted to see the park ruined.
We are grateful to Sevenoaks art for the animations!
Cllr Karen Chilvers - Campaign leader, Save
was littered with spare cables, boxes and additional parts for the many
high wooden fences which surround most of the installations. Even worse,
many tree stumps were visible, and the trees which had been cut down lay
where they had fallen. While this may be acceptable for the setting in
Aberfoyle, it was quite clear to me that this kind of installation is
completely inappropriate when you consider the environment of North Wood
in Pollok Park. I simply cannot understand why the council would want
to jeopardise all the good work it has done in Pollok Park and the Burrell
Collection by allowing a glorified play-park to be sited in Glasgow's
(and Europe's) best park.
“Go Ape was never part of a health agenda as the Council claimed but simply a crass attempt to cash in on a dear green place. The council has now lost two major park schemes to popular protest and they need to rethink the commercialisation of such open spaces or risk further defeats.”
“In March 2008 we characterised
the council’s handling of the planning application as ’slapdash
and incompetent’ as they failed to consider key evidence on a number
of planning issues. For instance they did not consult NTS which has the
lead conservation role. “