Scotland’s first artificial surf park has achieved planning permission

12 Oct 2020

Our Scotland Ecology Team have been supporting developers Tartan Leisure since 2017 to deliver ‘Wavegarden Scotland’ in Ratho to the west of Edinburgh, providing a world-class surfing and family destination with biodiversity enhancements and sustainability at its core.

Utilising the features of the former quarry, the site is undergoing partial restoration into a 60-acre country park. Initially, we conducted a Phase Habitat Survey, Protected Species Survey and pre-construction surveys. From these surveys we recognised the project’s excellent opportunity to enhance the wildlife value of the site; by implementing wildlife friendly management practices to minimise the impacts and maximise the benefits to wildlife across the project lifecycle.

The project takes a Natural Capital approach to maintain and maximise biodiversity throughout construction and through operation of the site. The important biodiversity corridor of the Union Canal - which is a Scheduled Monument and forms the northern boundary of the site - will be maintained as a dark corridor to ensure its continued use by otters and bats.

Biodiversity enhancements tailored to its setting have been incorporated into the design, complementing the ‘green’ ethos of the project by using renewable technologies, water capture and supporting local small businesses where possible.

Wavegarden Scotland follows in the wake of recently launched developments in England and Australia to create waterside accommodation catering for all needs including school groups, family groups and international surfers through providing luxury lodges, glamping pods, accessible ‘wave pods’, bothies and canal berths.

Working with Mark Barrett, Jill Simpson recently authored the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Addendum Report in support of Tartan Leisure’s detailed planning application to add facilities including a restaurant, retail outlet, surf school, wellness spa, café, several viewing terraces and an observation deck to the consented scheme. City of Edinburgh Council approved the planning application in August this year.

Andy Hadden, the co-founder of Tartan Leisure Ltd, said: “This is a major milestone in our journey to bring this world class surfing and leisure destination to the capital.”

With enabling works already underway, Wavegarden is expected to open in 2022 and we look forward to our continued involvement throughout construction of the main development.

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