The council will now formally respond to DEFRA, for the necessary construction licence for the construction of the surf reef.
The artificial reef, to be located to the east of Boscombe Pier will take up approximately one hectare, 225 metres from the shoreline and will be one of four other artificial reefs worldwide.
It mimics the effects of a natural reef and will be built from large sand-filled geotextile bags. Once completed, the reef could double the existing wave height, reshape the waves and improve the length of the ride. The hope is the reef will encourage 10,000 surf visits per year.
Roger Brown, head of leisure services at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “The public has waited patiently with us as we go through the lengthy but essential process for this landmark project, but the reef will be worth the wait. This is a significant step forward in the licence process and we anticipate starting construction in Spring 2008… the resort will make Bournemouth one of the prime surfing destinations in the UK.”
Richard Stride, chairman of the South Coast Fishermen’s Council says: “We are reassured by the way the process is going. The continuing liaison between the Council and fishermen is quite positive and our concerns have, in principle, been addressed.”