Europe's First Artificial Surf Reef Gets Green Light

Europe’s first artificial surf reef at Boscombe got the green light this week. The Marine and Fisheries Agency has granted Bournemouth Borough Council a special environment licence to begin construction of the project. The Council is on course to start construction in spring 2008, with the reef anticipated to be completed in time for the October 2008 swell.

MFA chief executive, Nigel Gooding said: “We are delighted to be able to issue a licence under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. A number of complex issues to ensure the protection of the marine environment had to be considered. The MFA had to take into account the potential impact of the reef on local fishermen and any possible danger to navigation. All the issues have been resolved.”

The Borough has also approved the reef in its statutory capacity as the Coastal Protection Authority. Specialist construction material for the reef will be ordered, including the ecologically sound geo-textile bags from Australia and the webbing base from New Zealand. Roger Brown, Head of Leisure Services at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Christmas has come early to Bournemouth. This is the fantastic news that everyone has been waiting for. The area of Bournemouth and Poole already has an excellent reputation as a leading watersports destination, however the reef will put Boscombe firmly on the surfing map. Weather conditions permitting, we anticipate to complete the reef by Autumn 2008 and this will result in the surf reef and land-based retail, catering, and surf-instruction facilities being completed together. We are also pleased to announce award-winning designers, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE, are creating super beach huts for both surfers and holiday makers, as part of the Overstrand redevelopment.”

The surf reef and super beach huts will be accompanied by a surf-themed retail outlet, a surfing academy and a glass-fronted restaurant offering fantastic panoramic views of Bournemouth and the Solent. There will also be a catering outlet selling good-quality food-to-go, changing rooms, toilets and hot showers, all contributing to the major transformation of Boscombe seafront. As expected, many companies see the area as a sound investment and are already vying for a space in this prime seafront location.

HEMINGWAY DESIGN TO CREATE ‘SUPER SURF PODS’ FOR BOURNEMOUTH

Coinciding with the news that the licence for Europe’s First Artificial Surf Reef has finally been granted, Bournemouth Borough Council has announced today that HemingwayDesign is to create super beach huts on Boscombe seafront to accompany the reef. Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, of HemingwayDesign, have been commissioned to apply their talents to the neglected 1958 Overstrand building on Boscombe seafront.

They will turn it into ‘super surf pods’ to accompany Europe’s first artificial surf reef which is being built in 2008, with all the mod-cons expected by the 21st century surfer and holiday maker.

Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway MBE are the designers who created the iconic Red or Dead fashion brand. In the last few years they have been challenging the house-building industry and are creating award-winning large-scale developments up and down the country. Other projects include the new concept for The Institute of Directors, wall-coverings, digital radios and interiors.

Wayne Hemingway of HemingwayDesign says: “We love Bournemouth and the Boscombe Overstrand project is one of the most exciting we’ve ever done. It’s the restoration of a cool, historic building. With the great work being done on the pier and Europe’s first artificial surf reef, Boscombe is about to become big news. The Overstrand project excites us both as designers, and as people interested in seaside regeneration.

“It’s about celebrating mid-century modern architecture and allowing the local community to fall in love with the Overstrand all over again. We are designing wonderful, unique beach chalets for both surfers and beach lovers alike. We want to re-establish a sense of community on Boscombe seafront, by creating something modern and unique, yet still retain the purity of this historic building.”

The surf reef and super beach huts will be accompanied by a surf-themed retail outlet, a surfing academy and a glass-fronted restaurant offering fantastic panoramic views of Bournemouth and the Solent. There will also be a catering outlet selling good-quality food-to-go, changing rooms, toilets and hot showers, all contributing to the major transformation of Boscombe seafront. As expected, many companies see the area as a sound investment and are already vying for a space in this prime seafront location. Prices and the sale date of the beach huts are yet to be confirmed.

www.bournemouth.co.uk

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