The National Trust has said it would object to plans by The Longleat Estate to build a cable car across Cheddar Gorge.
The area is world famous both for its landscape and prehistoric heritage and supporters of the scheme say it would bring economic benefits in terms of increased visitor numbers. However, a spokesman for the Trust (which owns some of the land over which the cable cars were planned to pass) said “We’ve looked at the benefits the cable car will bring and we’ve looked at the impact it’s going to have……we just feel this visual impact… is too much”.
This is not necessarily the end of the matter though. A second public consultation is due in September and a spokesman for The Longleat Estate pointed out “It’s always possible to reroute. There are various ways that you can get up to the top.”
The company says that a survey shows a majority of those asked have no major objections to the scheme. However, the precise wording of the questions that enabled them to claim that doesn’t seem to have been made public. Perhaps it would be helpful for any future consultation to be conducted by an independent body and for a single simple question to be asked: “Yes or No?” The idea that most people would support such a plan is hard to believe, to put it mildly!
Update: There is now a ‘Keep Cheddar Gorgeous‘ campaign website objecting to the proposals.