Boscombe Surf Reef

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Boscombe Surf Reef

Post by mrix »

Boscombe Surf Reef
Boscombe will be having Europe's First Artifical Surf Reef :D

Boscombe`s artificial surf reef will be constructed at Boscombe Seafront and will be Europe’s first and is part of a larger redevelopment scheme to regenerate and revitalise that area of Bournemouth. The reef will give that area of beach in Boscombe its own identity, raise the profile of Boscombe and attract a large number of visitors on an annual basis.

The artificial Surf reef will be strategically located between the first two groynes to the east of Boscombe Pier in front of the Overstrand complex, giving a wonderful opportunity for watching from the café / restaurant as well as from the beach. The actual size of the reef will take up approximately one hectare.

The reef will be built from large sand-filled geotextile bags – some up to 30m in length. They are extremely strong and the likelihood of damage is very small. Even so, they will be covered by a long guarantee!

The plans for the surf reef were agreed in February 2005 and is part of the Boscombe Spa Village scheme which achieved a planning consent in September 2005. Final design work will be undertaken during 2006 and the target timetable is for the reef to be installed between May and September 2007. As part of the preparation for installing the reef, we will be taking advantage of the beach replenishment scheme in December 2007/ January 2008 to deposit extra sand across the beach to the east of Boscombe Pier. This sand will then be used to fill the geo-textile bags that form the reef in May. The sand will be smoothed out across the beach and should not disrupt normal beach use.

Boscombe Pier and its land based facilities are currently very tired and in need of having new life breathed into them. A recent study has revealed that there are currently 77 good surfing days per annum, although surfing currently takes place on 153 days, with a total of over 5,000 surf visits to Boscombe annually. With the reef in place, the height of the waves along this part of the coast and the number of good surfing days will be doubled and will be more than capable of hosting around 10,000 surf visits per annum.

A recent Council Economic Impact Assessment has suggested that the reef will create an image value of £10million per annum resulting from a variety of publications and media interest on a national scale. It would generate a huge stimulus for equipment retailing, surf training schools, accommodation, drink and food and would create an estimated 60 full-time and 30 part-time jobs.

Do surfers actually spend any money?
Yes, rather a lot! It costs around £500 just to get kitted out for surfing in the first place. Then there are the numerous positive knock-on effects – tuition costs, accommodation and entertainment, which an economic assessment suggests will mean growth in small businesses in the area to support surfers and spectators. A recent survey in Cornwall revealed that surfers actually spend 8% more than other holidaymakers.

The design and construction cost of the surf reef is approximately £1.1 million. Working with Wessex Surf Club on an application to Sport England for contributory funding.

The environmental implications are at worst, neutral. It’s likely that marine life will thrive on the reef and there will be no damaging effects to the beach. Although our reason for building the reef is for regeneration and leisure, expert opinion says that it may also help with coastal defences. It does, however, need the consent of the Crown Estate, which has been agreed, in principle, with negotiations now under way.

The surf reef forms one part of the planned Boscombe Spa Village Development scheme for the whole Boscombe area. The listed Boscombe Pier entrance building will be refurbished to include space for catering and retail. The existing toilets will be removed and replaced on the undercliff promenade to the west of the Pier. The Mermaid Hall at the end of the pier will be removed and a new, shorter platform will be created. There will be a Heritage Display along the Pier’s central walkway.

A new landscaped piazza in front of the Pier, will double-up as an open-air events space and this will require a new road layout. The comprehensive landscaping scheme will see high quality street furniture, public art and sculpture, lighting, surfacing and planting that links Boscombe Chine Gardens to Boscombe Spa Village and through Boscombe Cliff Gardens to Shelley Park.

The Overstrand building complex to the east of the Pier will be refurbished to feature surfing-themed shopping and tuition facilities, a ground and first floor restaurant with sea views, changing rooms, showers and 42 ‘super chalets’ available for hire and lease.

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