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Group digs in to oppose North Devon wave pool

Proposed development with wavepool site in the background

 

 

Environment Updates

Group says warehouses would deter tourism

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 July, 2014 - A man-made wave lagoon for surfers is an "ill-thought-out white elephant", according to a group set up to fight the development at the M5's junction 27. And the warehousing element of the project could deter tourists from stopping, it claims.

Wave (Willand Action on Village Expansion) has sharply criticised proposals for the 230-acre Westwood leisure and retail development. The proposal includes an artificial surf lagoon, costing between £3 million and £6 million, as a centrepiece of the development, which would also include a shopping village, a forest walk, a multiplex cinema, hotels and parking for 3,500 cars.

The scheme has been put forward by a group of local landowners and is backed with funding from the Axa investment group. Warehousing to the north of the site would be shielded from view and cater for logistics companies.

However Wave says the development, which would include a large visitor centre, would be counter-productive, and might deter tourists. Jeremy Riches, who set up the campaign group, said: "Devon as a whole relies heavily on the tourist industry, and the results of seeing massive warehousing shortly after holiday makers pass the "welcome to Devon" sign will provide an image in direct conflict to the beautiful rural landscape that they have come to enjoy.

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