Plans for Go Ape aerial adventure course in Leeds given green light

Plans to open an aerial adventure course in a Leeds woodland have been given the green light by planning chiefs.

Picture by Zed Nelson.
Picture by Zed Nelson.

Applicant Adventure Forest Ltd sought permission to change the use of woodland in Temple Newsam, and open a Go Ape course.

The park will feature zip wires, platforms and rope ladders.

Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel yesterday discussed the plans for the high-wire theme park, which would be built in an area of Temple Newsam known as Menagerie Wood.

The plans had previously been delayed during a meeting in December, after concerns were raised about the proposed site.

But the proposals were approved by members of the panel yesterday, after councillors went on a visit to the site.

Coun Neil Walshaw, chairman of the panel, said: “It’s always good for members to have a site visit and get a full realisation of what’s going on, particularly on a site that’s really important to a lot of people in the city, like Temple Newsam.

“I think we all could clearly see that the site chosen was the right site. It’s the fun part of Temple Newsam, I’ve been there a lot with my kids.

“It’s noisy from the adventure playground, it’s just the right place and it leaves much else of the park quiet for people who just want to walk their dogs and stroll.”

Coun Mick Coulson, on the panel, said the plans were “nothing but good for the area”.

The decision came after the Friends of Temple Newsam volunteer group had previously raised concerns about the site being unsuitable.

Coun Walshaw added: “I think hopefully [people] that were against will come to see how sensitively Go Ape approach things, as far as I can tell. We’ll also see that it brings a lot of people and a new appreciation to Temple Newsam. I hope we can prove them wrong.”

Ben Davies, head of business and development at Go Ape, said he was “delighted” by the unanimous decision for approval.

“We’ve always thought it was the right location and it was quite right that they went out for the site visit to assess and make sure,” he told the meeting.

“We always respect that people will have different views as to where these sites should be, but we felt we had located it in the right place.”

Mr Davies said the aerial course will take about six weeks to build, and hopes it will be up and running by this summer.

He added: “We’re absolutely delighted that we can get the people of Leeds swinging around the trees.”