Dorset Council withdraws land for planned multi-million-pound surf lagoon at St. Leonards

A multi-million-pound surf lagoon plan for Avon Heath Country Park has suffered a set-back after Dorset Council withdrew its support.

The Council, which owns part of the land in question, previously agreed not to oppose any proposals to create the Brocks Pine development – a surf and leisure resort just north of Bournemouth Airport.

W. H. White Ltd applied for planning permission on the park in 2021, eventually taking their application to the Planning Inspectorate last year on the grounds of non-determination.

On Monday 19 February 2024, the Planning Inspectorate ruled that planning permission should be granted for the development.

However, Dorset Council has now announced that it will not be offering the land at Avon Heath Country Park for inclusion within the proposed scheme.

A representative of W. H. White Ltd told Bournemouth One: “This is a fantastic milestone for the project and we are delighted that planning permission has been granted.

“We will now take time to review the decision and consider our next steps, including looking to partner with a surf lagoon technology provider. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported the proposals and hope to provide an update later in the summer.”

A statement from Dorset Council said: “Circumstances over the past few years have changed significantly for both the Council and the park itself, which continues to perform well.

“At this moment in time, it is our view that Avon Heath Country Park does not need this development, and therefore we are no longer able to engage in further discussions with W. H. White Ltd regarding the land we own there.

“We wish W. H. White Ltd all the best in their future endeavours.”

The project, just off the A31 at St Leonards, attracted hundreds of objections from locals but had the backing of Surfing England.

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