Shopping mall wants to build Hong Kong's first zip line on The Peak

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 August, 2014, 4:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 August, 2014, 4:09pm

A shopping centre and leisure complex on The Peak is seeking permission to build the city's first zip line on its roof, after a similar project, planned for Lantau, was put on hold.

The Peak Galleria is asking the Town Planning Board to relax height and area restrictions so it can install the attraction, to be operated by Canadian-based firm Flightlinez for five years.

A zip line is an aerial runway consisting of a pulley suspended on an inclined cable. Users, propelled by gravity, travel down the cable by holding or attaching themselves to the moving pulley.

If all goes according to plan, thrillseekers at The Peak will be able to climb onto a 9.51-metre-high starting platform - the height of a three-storey building - hook onto a line and slide down some 120 metres to a landing platform 3.55 metres above the ground. Four cables will run between the two platforms.

It would be a "brand new, funny and sustainable sensory attraction to overlook Hong Kong's most famous views of Victoria Harbour from the top level", Greenheart, parent firm of Flightlinez, says in the application.

The site is already zoned for entertainment use, but the board must grant special permission for the construction of the zip-line towers, which will exceed the height limit of the shopping centre by about four metres.

Last year, plans by cable car operator Ngong Ping 360 to set up two sets of 300-metre cross-valley parallel zip lines in northern Lantau with foreign operator Flying Fox got entangled in objections from government advisers and green groups.

"After further study and discussion, the founders of Flying Fox decided to put the Hong Kong project on hold at this stage," a Ngong Ping 360 spokeswoman said.

Hang Lung Properties, developer of The Peak Galleria, said the proposal to the board marked only the initial development stage of the project.

"Since the Town Planning Board is inviting comments from the general public, we do not have further information to provide at this stage," the developer said in response to a South China Morning Post inquiry on pricing and other details.

The public can submit their comments to the board until August 26.

Flightlinez is a division of Canadian company Greenheart, which operates zip lines in the United States - at San Diego Wild Animal Park, Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Bootleg Canyon park in Nevada, and Venice Beach in California.

In Hong Kong, Greenheart has proposed working with charity partners, including HandsOn Hong Kong, the Youth Arts Foundation and Sedan Chair Charities Fund, on fundraising activities.