PLANS have been revealed to create a "world-class" leisure attraction in St Leonards.

W H White is seeking the public's views on creating an inland surf lagoon on land southeast of A31 Ringwood Road, either side of Brocks Pine in St Leonards before a planning application is submitted to Dorset Council. 

The plans

A cove-shaped lagoon would be created to produce white-water waves for beginners and up to 1.8-metre barrelling waves for elite surfers.

There would be equipment to cater for "adaptive surfing" to ensure the facility is accessible to all.

The latest solar photovoltaic technology would be used to create on-site renewable energy to contribute to the operation of the lagoon.

Salisbury Journal:

'Once in a generation' opportunity

A statement issued on behalf of W H White said: "The proposal presents a once in a generation opportunity for a world-class inland surfing lagoon.

"The cove-shaped lagoon, which is supported by governing body Surf England, will provide a safe, accessible and enjoyable surf experience for everyone, including those requiring adaptive surfing, as well as white-water waves for beginners and up to 1.8-metre barrelling waves for elite surfers and a family orientated environment for all to enjoy all year round."

Potential benefits

The statement also says the project would deliver "significant education, health and wellbeing benefits" including:

  • A "once in a generation opportunity" for Dorset to cement its reputation as a surf destination, retaining and increasing expenditure in Dorset.
  • Support jobs through its construction and create up to 40 jobs
  • "Cement" Dorset’s reputation as a natural playground and surf destination through the promotion of a year-round linked-trips and staycations, bringing benefits to the tourism and hospitality economy
  • Reduce recreational pressures on Dorset Heaths
  • Improve local water quality by removing arable fields out of intensive agricultural use, significantly reducing the level of nitrates emitted from the site
  • Improve local air quality along the A31 corridor through new landscaping
  • Contribute towards the health and wellbeing of the local population through the provision of new green space, accessible on foot and bicycle via the existing footbridge over the A31

Easing pressures on country park

W H White control the land on either side of Brocks Pine and Dorset Council own and manage Avon Heath Country Park.

The wider Avon Heath Country Park will continue to be owned and operated by Dorset Council.

The project website says that: "Key to the site vision is the opportunity to work collaboratively to create a much-improved country park, alongside a significant area of natural greenspace to preserve and protect the Dorset Heaths at no cost to the tax payer."

Adding: "Through a collaborative approach with Dorset Council there is an opportunity to maximise public benefit by reshaping Avon Heath Country Park through relocating the visitor car parking, reception point and visitor facilities (some of which are approaching the end of their design life).

"This strategy would deliver new purpose-built facilities and significant environmental benefit by intercepting visitors further away from the heathland, thereby reducing recreational pressures upon these protected and internationally recognised habitats and allowing them to thrive."

How to have your say

  • Online at
  • Calling 0800 080 3177
  • Emailing
  • A public exhibition is also being held at St Leonards and St Ives Village Hall on Braeside Road on Thursday September 9 from 2pm to 8pm.

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