High ropes plan sparks concerns

PLANS for a new high ropes course at a Swanage outdoor centre have been submitted – prompting objections.
The scheme would see a 12m frame constructed in the grounds of the Cumulus Outdoors Residential Centre on Cobbler’s Lane, previously known as the Townsend Residential Centre.

Cumulus Outdoors took over the centre in October 2019, with the objective of expanding the facility to offer accommodation in combination with the adventure activity programmes, the application says.
Guests include local schools, such as The Swanage School, whose pupils undertake a residential stay at the start of their secondary school life to develop their team building skills and confidence.
“Swanage is a leading destination in the UK for outdoor adventure and residential field trips for children and young adults,” it adds. “It is well regarded as providing a wide range of outdoor activities in a challenging, yet safe environment.
“Outdoor adventure provides significant benefits to the Swanage economy through employment, services and increased spend in local shops.
“Companies such as JM Adventure, who will provide the Linear High Ropes Course, are based in Swanage and further contribute to the local economy and community.”
“The course comprises a guyed metal frame structure upon which safety ropes can be fastened,” it explains.
“This allows participants to safely climb a tower, a series of blocks and a central ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ under the guidance of qualified instructors.
“The frame will be 12m in height and set in the centre of a flat plateau of land against a backdrop of mature trees. It will be constructed of galvanised steel (matt grey colour) which will appear recessive from wider views.”
However, some residents object to the plans.One commented: “It is too high and of ugly construction and an intrusion on the landscape.”
They added: “Over development and a long way from the charitable aims when the centre was first set up and there were much fewer young people on site.”
Another wrote: “An unacceptable amount of noise is currently being generated by the establishment to the considerable detriment of the neighbours.”

The application will be decided by council planners. For more details visit and search application reference P/FUL/2022/07619.

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