MFA give green light to surf reef –

MFA give green light to surf reef Published:  13 December, 2007

EUROPE’S first artificial surf reef at Boscombe, Dorset got the green light today, after The Marine and Fisheries Agency 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.

“Bournemouth Council were required to supply additional information to support its application before decisions could be reached. All the issues have been resolved and the licence will be issued shortly,” he said.

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. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.