Wave pool on former mining site gets pushback in England

Quinn Estates, the engine behind the Seahive wave pool project is returning after a setback in July. The company was denied planning permission with the then current design, but since have kept The Seahive hopes alive with a modification of the proposal.

The BBC reported the surf park made a few adjustments to meet the demands of neighbours who fear that the estimated 700,000 people enjoying the surf park annually is incompatible with wildlife which has taken root on the abandoned industrial site.

According to the news report, current site plans call for a wildlife area of 48 acres inside the park as well as 25 acres outside of its borders. The Seahive wave pool would take up 15 acres.

“Our intention is to be an integral part of the wider Country Park, to add to the overall destination where we expect visitors to experience and benefit from all aspects of the park,” reads the Seahive webpage. “We will be using the existing shared car park and our guests will enter The Seahive via the main entrance next to the mining museum.”

Quinn Estates reiterated that they wanted to make the park “economically sustainable” but also “environmentally respectable.”

Sue Sullivan from Friends of Betteshanger told the BBC that the entire area should be designated a nature reserve.

“What do 700,000 people do to a site like Betteshanger?,” she said. “What happens to the habitats and wildlife? We are determined to carry on standing up for wildlife.”

A Seahive spokesman said the new plans incorporated more open space for wildlife with 20% of the park fenced off from people and pets. Seahive added that the project was not simply a crass development sheerly for profit.

“This has been about creating a world class wellness destination at a point in time where I fundamentally believe mental health is a national emergency,” a spokesperson told the BBC.