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Objectors pour cold water on WH White's bid for inland surf lagoon at Brocks Pine near Ringwood

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PLANS to build an inland surfing lagoon near Ringwood have sparked a raft of objections from residents.

Concerns have been raised against WH White’s proposal to build the attraction on land it owns either side of Brocks Pine in St Leonards, south-east of the A31.

One said: "The development of a surf lagoon and skate park will cause environmental damage, loss of much-needed green space, [plus] the land is used by the deer and other wildlife, and this habitat will be lost."

An artist's impression of the plans
An artist's impression of the plans

Another said the developer told a public presentment the lagoon would be limited to 40 users a time, so questioned why there was a need for 380 parking spaces in the plan.

However, others noted the potential positive economic effect of the proposal which includes a cycle park and outdoor climbing wall, pointing to the success of The Wave project in Bristol.

One believed it was "a fantastic scheme to help promote healthy and outdoor pursuits". Another added: "I support this application as it will support our local economy, create jobs and help our tourism industry recover."

As reported in the A&T, the plan includes making "significant improvements" to the adjacent Avon Heath Country Park, owned and operated by Dorset Council.

It claims the cove-shaped lagoon would produce white-water waves for beginners and up to 1.8-metre barrelling waves for elite surfers, in a family-orientated environment.

The developer has already been in detailed discussions with Natural England, Surf England, National Highways and Dorset Council, and claims it would create up to 40 jobs.

Surf England chief executive Ben Powis said: "The south coast has a vibrant surf scene and having world-class waves on tap will help grow the local surfing community, provide training space for future Olympic and Paralympic athletes and open up surfing as a sport and lifestyle to a whole new audience."

The deadline for comments closes on Friday, and Dorset Council will decide the plan later.

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