THE GROUP behind the idea to install a cable car on the Malvern Hills has stated progress is going ‘well’, despite the latest rebuff from the land owners.
High Street Malvern reported in their latest monthly update a feasibility group was now focusing on improving the business plan.
Work is also being done to evaluate the commercial interest which has been expressed in the project so far.
The group is pressing ahead with the idea despite Malvern Hills Conservators, who manage the land, reiterating their stance that installing a cable car would be illegal due to the structures which would have to be built on the hills to hold it up.
Representatives from High Street Malvern have tried to arrange meetings with the Conservators but the body refused the latest request in September saying it would be ‘inappropriate’.
In a direct reply to the group, chairman Helen Stace said the board had already decided not to pursue the idea in the current five year planning period, maintaining it would be contrary to the acts which govern the Conservators.
Mrs Stace added that permanent constructions on the hills are ‘expressly forbidden’.
She also argued the building work and extra visitors from a cable car would be damaging to the land’s value as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest as well as conflict with the Hills’ status as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Mrs Stace added: “MHC do not wish to support the construction of a cable car, and indeed it would be ultra vires for us to do so.”
Roger Sutton from High Street Malvern said the group had consulted a lawyer to analyse the acts which govern the Conservators who concluded the legislation did not prohibit the development of a cable car.
Mr Sutton added there was a general consensus in support of the idea from those consulted so far describing it as the ‘silver bullet that will transform Malvern’ and further claiming it could be achieved in a respectful way to the hills and surrounding environment.