Plans requiring public consultation have been submitted for an “amazing” high-wire course in one of Birmingham's most historic parks.
The application for the ‘erection of a high-wire adventure course comprising of timber poles and fixed wires’ in the 144-year-old Cannon Hill Park says the maximum height of the poles would be seven to eight metres.
A lower course would be aimed at under eights, while the higher one would include independent circuits with colour coded levels of difficulty.
Users would be harnessed and equipped with a helmet at all times.
A log cabin style non-permanent building would be required to house equipment.
The total number of staff could be up to 12, but the site would typically be manned by ‘four to five people’ and be open from 9.30am to 8pm in peak season.
The maximum number of users would be 35, at a rate of up to 80 per hour.
If successful, work would be expected to begin during the early spring of 2017 and last for eight weeks.
Public comments about the plans must be received by March 30, 2017.
Who is behind the plan?
The application is being made by Roy Pearson, from an address in Saltburn by Sea, Cleveland – though he is said to live and work in Birmingham with his Telecom’s Design consultancy business.
Mr Pearson is also planning another site in the north east where he is negotiating with Forestry Commission and a local council.
Described as a widely travelled mountaineer and deep sea diver, Mr Pearson says in the application: “My proposal is to construct a high wire adventure course which will challenge young children and adults alike.
“It is the fun, thrill and physical aspect of the high wire course business which has attracted Roy to this activity and reunited with his experience in climbing and mountaineering and the love of the great outdoors.
“The course design is amazing and will thrill and entertain users in a way the current activity’s (sic) at the park don’t achieve.”
Mr Pearson says the aim would be to “get people out of their comfort zones” with group and family-friendly challenges that would create a “high quality tourist destination."
He adds: “Our goal is to create adventure and encourage people to get outdoors and live life more adventurously.
“We want to do our bit to keep the adventure in adventure.
“We believe that zero risk equals zero development and we are looking for a way to challenge, surprise and excite people.”
What is Cannon Hill Park?
Described in the application as one of the country’s top 12 free parks, it was gifted to the city by Miss Louisa Ann Ryland in April, 1873.
In his application, Mr Pearson says: “We believe this proposal meets with many of the council’s policies and plans for regeneration and tourism, not to mention health and wellbeing targets.
“There are currently two children’s play areas on site which appear popular but don’t quite thrill in as far as some other park play facilities around the country.”
As well as being home to the MAC arts centre , now established for more than 50 years, more recent investments at Cannon Hill Park include a fairground and pedalo swan lake.
The Golden Putter twin mini golf course has also been developed next to the park's now refurbished tennis courts.
While facilities lost include the bowling green and the city council is facing an ongoing battle to save money, attempts are being made to restore the historic Golden Lion building next to the upper promenade.
When size matters
The lower zone would have a minimum height requirement of 1 metre (3ft 3in).
The higher zone would be restricted to ten year olds and up, with a minimum height restriction of 4ft 7in.
The maximum weight in both zones would be 20.5 stone (130kg).
Helmets must be worn at all times.
Where will it be?
The proposed site is currently described as a ‘large sterile gravel open area’.
Ropes, wires and platforms would be fixed to tall wooden poles in an area measuring 60m x 65m.
The course would include two activity zones, one lower zone and a high zone.
Each would be connected via the access steps within the wooden tower.
Both activity zones would include 15 obstacles.
The area includes a giant storage tank below ground designed to alleviate flooding in the area which is next to the River Rea.
The planning submission includes a document which claims that the nature of the construction would not be expected to have any impact on the local area’s potential for flooding.
Another document says noise levels were ‘unlikely to cause complaint’ at nearby residential properties, including houses on St Johns Road.
The application would use about 'a third of the sterile area', which in recent years has been used to house giant marquees for the Oktoberfest and In The Night Garden Live.
At the end where the site is proposed, there is currently, by coincidence, a large collection of felled trunks in a park renowned for its tree trail.
What is the site address?
Cannon Hill Park, off Pershore Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B12 9QH.