Zip-wire company goes bust after TV writer wins battle to stop thrill-seekers ‘whizzing’ past window


A zip wire company has gone bust after a top TV writer won his fight to stop hundreds of thrill-seekers ‘whizzing past’ the windows of his home.

Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies, 57, led the campaign against plans to rig up a 360-metre long wire outside his waterside home.

City Zip Company wanted to launch £30-a-ticket thrill seekers from the 150ft-high roof of St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff – and land on the other side of Cardiff Bay.  

Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies led the campaign against plans to rig up a 360-metre long wire outside his waterside home. His house is next to the St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff. Pictured here is an actual zip wire from the hotel during a one off event held in 2016

City Zip Company wanted to launch £30-a-ticket thrill seekers from the 150ft-high roof of St David's Hotel and Spa in Cardiff - and land on the other side of Cardiff Bay - as pictured in this planning map

City Zip Company wanted to launch £30-a-ticket thrill seekers from the 150ft-high roof of St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff – and land on the other side of Cardiff Bay – as pictured in this planning map 

The plans were recommended for approval by the city council but the firm pulled out in wake of protests from locals. The MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, was among those who objected to the original plans.

Customers had already paid for £30 tickets for the zip wire ride but they have been told they will only be refunded half of their costs – after the company behind the scheme filed for insolvency. 

Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies (pictured) led the campaign against plans to rig up a 360-metre long wire outside his waterside home

Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies (pictured) led the campaign against plans to rig up a 360-metre long wire outside his waterside home

An email from insolvency practitioners said: ‘We have been forwarded your email details by the directors of The City Zip Company Limited as you have made advance payments for the Cardiff 2020 event which is not now proceeding and so you are an unsecured creditor of the Company.

‘There will be no full refund of the monies you have paid but rather the directors have put forward Proposals for a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors whereby unsecured creditors are estimated to receive a dividend on their claim of approximately 50p in the £ but this, per the terms of the Proposals, will take several years to achieve.’

Doctor Who writer Davies – who was also behind the BBC series Years and Years – was one of more than 60 neighbours in the plush high-rise apartment block to oppose the plans.

In a letter to the council he said: ‘Noise is a problem, the footfall is a problem, the lights are a problem, the generator is a problem, the drones are a problem.

‘My property will be facing a seven-day-a-week zip wire with 48 people an hour whizzing past my home and screaming for six months of the year. Are you kidding?’ 

City Zip Company had already begun selling tickets for the ride online - but has now withdrawn the plans. Pictured are the design plans for the zip wire

City Zip Company had already begun selling tickets for the ride online – but has now withdrawn the plans. Pictured are the design plans for the zip wire 

Pictured here is a mock up of what the zip wire may have looked across Cardiff Bay in Wales

Pictured here is a mock up of what the zip wire may have looked across Cardiff Bay in Wales

The planning application said the line would be open through the summer and weekends with private bookings available. 

It said the route had been ‘sensitively positioned to ensure minimal impact upon local views, nearby heritage assets and nearby occupants’.

Mr Davies, 56, who brought the sci-fi series to Cardiff in 2005, sent in a planning objection to Cardiff City Council.

St David's Hotel and Spa where people would be launched from the roof

St David’s Hotel and Spa where people would be launched from the roof 

He said: ‘One person screaming past my windows would be a one-off event. It could even be fun! But 48 people per hour, 8 hours a day for 24 weeks equals a grand total of 64,512 events.

‘That’s 64, 512 events. Let me say it again. 64,512 people. Whizzing past my flat. Screaming. While I am working.

‘This is impossible.’

In 2012, Davies married his partner, Andrew Smith, after Smith was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He died in October 2018. 

Fellow screen writer Andrew Davies, best known for House of Cards and Bridget Jones’ Diary, was also against the wire.

He said: ‘My apartment is on the 8th floor on the nearest corner to St Davids Hotel looking out over the inner bay.

‘I am a writer and I need peace and quiet for my work. This scheme would mean that screaming idiots would whiz past my apartment 48 times an hour.

‘The other main reason for having this apartment is to sit on the balcony and enjoy the calm and tranquil view out over the bay. Some hopes!

‘I paid £350,000 for my apartment and this zipwire, if it goes ahead, will render it worthless to me.’

City Zip Company had already begun selling tickets for the ride online – but has now withdrawn the plans.

Customer Andrew Firth – who bought two tickets in May last year – said: ‘They released some early-bird tickets for £25 and I bought two of those to take my wife there for our anniversary.’

The company said the Cardiff plans would have been ‘the world’s longest entirely over-water zip wire’. 

Last year Stephen Doughty, the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, was among those who objected to the original plans.

He said: ‘I am delighted to hear that this ill-thought-out application has been withdrawn.

‘I had serious concerns about this scheme ever since speaking to its proponents and have been very happy to stand on the side of local residents in opposing it.’



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