Zip World submits plans to turn vintage tram into cafe at Snowdonia quarry
A Snowdonia tourist attraction which boasts the fastest zip-line in the world wants to expand its facilities by relocating 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 application to Gwynedd Council claims the plans would extend tourist facilities and could create four part-time jobs.
Planners from the local authority will consider the application, which is considered to be in “a sensitive location” in respect of the World Heritage Site and is close to a scheduled monument.
A report by planning agents states: “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 square metre area of the quarry area, close to the Zip World headquarters and terminal building.
The plans state: “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 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 moved if required.
Proposed opening hours are Monday to Friday, 7am to 9pm, Saturday, 7am to 9pm, and Sunday/Bank Holidays, 7am to 9pm.
The hours are slightly longer than the zip-line opening hours to allow visitors to be able to buy a snack or drink whilst waiting for it to open or after they have been on it.
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.
By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter
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