A proposed £200,000 plus tree top adventure park with zip wires in a country park would not compromise the protected 'Green Belt', planners have advised.

The ‘Go Ape’ high ropes course, which would create 21 jobs, has been put forward for Blackburn’s Witton Park with a provisional opening date of Easter.

Adventure Forest Ltd have proposed the scheme, similar to one at Rivington, for a 1.6 acre site near The Pavilion at the 480-acre Green Belt open space in Preston New Road.

The proposal has been recommended for approval with seven conditions by Blackburn with Darwen Council planning committee when it meets on Thursday night.

A report by principal planner Martin Kenny says: "The proposed leisure facility is identified as an appropriate exception for development within the Green Belt.

"Furthermore, the proposal will not harm the openness of the Green Belt, nor conflict with the purpose of including land within it.

"The application site relates to an approximate area of 1.6 acres of Witton Country Park.

"The site comprises an irregular shaped area of woodland and open grassed area to the north and north east of the pavilion building and athletics track, and directly south of the former service buildings and ornamental pond associated with Witton House.

"The course will be made up of several elements including access towers, platforms on trees, timber and wire crossings, zip wires and zip wire landing platforms.

"The proposal also includes the provision of a converted steel shipping container to operate as a reception facility, equipment store and staff office.

"The container is to be clad in timber and will replace the existing disused toilet container building. The proposal is considered to represent an improvement visually.

"The high rope adventure course will be managed by a site based team that would comprise one permanent full-time post and the equivalent of up to 20 part time posts.

"On peak days there will be up to seven staff on site to manage activities.

"The facility is proposed to be operational year round, subject to demand.

"The operational hours will be 8am to dusk.

"Ladders used to ascent the course/ platforms are pulled up and locked when the facility is closed.

"Visitors will utilise the existing car park and amenity facilities.

"The proposal also includes the provision of tree top platforms and a zip wire landing platform.

"The former are generally lightweight in nature, constructed in timber and as a consequence are effectively integrated in to the woodland.

"No trees have been highlighted as requiring removal to facilitate the construction and safe operation of the course.

"The council’s tree officer has offered no objection to the proposals."

When the application was submitted in September Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Phil Riley and his Conservative opposition group counterpart Cllr John Slater welcomed it as major potential tourist attraction for the borough.