Scotland’s first artificial surfing centre will be built at a disused quarry on the outskirts of the Capital after plans were given the green light by councillors.
Tartan Leisure Limited will transform Craigpark Quarry near Ratho into Wavegarden Scotland. It is hoped the surfing centre will open to the public in 2020.
The surfing centre will involve a water leisure complex, The Cove, divided into different zones. The Cove will generate around 1,000 waves per hour, with up to 100 surfers able to use the facility at the same time.
Wavegarden Scotland is expected to generate up to 130 new jobs and pump up to £11 million a year into the local economy.
The city council’s development management sub-committee yesterday backed the plans, which had previously been recommended for approval by council officers.
An anticipated start date for construction works is yet to be announced.
Councillors were told by senior planning officer Jennifer Paton that developers hoped the scheme would allow “a world class facility to come to Scotland”. Ms Paton added: “It would attract visitors from all across the UK. It’s a unique opportunity to reuse a redundant quarry.”
The Cove will be available for a host of different activities, including surfing, bodyboarding, paddle boarding and surf kayaking. The development will include more than 200 car parking spaces and access for coaches.
Green Cllr Chas Booth echoed concerns by Ratho and District Community Council about loss of access to the scheme’s country park setting.
Ms Paton responded to the concern, telling councillors there was nothing formally restricting access other than use of the water, which would require payment to use the surfing centre.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Hal Osler raised worries over the water usage’s impact on the nearby Union Canal.
She said: “We don’t want to put a drain on the natural resource in the area.
“The wave park itself has the potential to use a lot of natural resources in terms of water, which is a concern.
“It’s a concern on the one hand where the water is coming from, but it’s also a concern where the water will be discharged to because of how it’s actually used.”
Councillors were told most water will be reused and recycled as part of the mechanism. The committee unanimously approved the plans.
Wavegarden Scotland will include a surf school, self-catering guest lodges, glamping pods, a zip line wire and snow-sports training jump.
Andy Hadden, co-founder of Tartan Leisure, said: “Another very exciting aspect of Wavegarden Scotland is the opportunity to nurture surfing and sporting talent. With Scotland’s own surfing team starting to make a mark on the global surf scene, we hope to inspire the next generation of surfers, life guards, and active outdoor enthusiasts.”