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Blue health inspires plans for £40m Seahive wellness resort in South-East England

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A planning application has been submitted to Dover District Council for the creation of The Seahive, a surf wellness resort on the site of a former colliery spoil tip in Betteshanger Country Park, UK.

Designed by architecture firm Hollaway Studio, the £40m (US$48.1m, €45.4m) flagship project near Deal in Kent will be integral to the wider country park.

The overall masterplan for the 15-acre site will feature a Wavegarden Cove surf lagoon at its centre, which can generate over 20 different wave types, providing rides for all ages and abilities.

Overlooking the lagoon will be a clubhouse featuring a surf academy as well as a restaurant and bar, conference facility, retail outlet, chill-out spaces, dedicated work area and immersive balcony.

In addition, surrounding the lagoon, there will be a number of interconnected hives of activity including a wellness facility with yoga and fitness zones, cold water therapy and meditation pavilions, a pump track, a splash pool, a learning hive, as well as a small number of sustainably-designed holiday lodges.

The dedicated learning hive will run a full-time schedule of courses to support local children via surf therapy and educational intervention programmes to help enhance and protect their mental health.

A representative from Seahive told Spa Business that the project is currently at a very early planning approval stage. They explained that a key motive behind Seahive is to help raise awareness of how spending time near or in water can be beneficial for the mind and body.

“My vision has always been far greater than just creating an inland surf lagoon,” said founder and CEO Jim Storey, “the Seahive is a purpose-driven, inclusive business anchored around the power of blue health and its impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.

“We’re passionate about creating an immersive, authentic destination that empowers people to push boundaries in a safe environment, improves and protects wellbeing, encourages communities to connect, creates environmental changemakers, equips kids with knowledge and self-belief, increases tourism, supports local businesses and generates hundreds of jobs.”

As part of its social impact and community focus, The Seahive team are planning to run holiday camps for underprivileged children as part of the UK Government’s ‘Holiday Activities and Food Programme’ and offer apprenticeship opportunities via partnerships with Kent-based universities.

It also aims to organise ocean safety and awareness courses as well as programmes designed to encourage young people to reconnect with nature, leveraging some of the philosophy from the Green School movement, where Storey has been educating his children for the last 18 months.

The Seahive lagoon and clubhouse

Sustainability is very much part of the fabric of The Seahive masterplan, from the materials used to operational processes, energy sources, waste management, water management and planting schemes.

The project will strive to be carbon neutral from the start via the use of sustainable energy to power 100 per cent of the waves.

From an ecological standpoint, the vision for the site aims to deliver substantial long-term benefits via a new, completely separate, area of over 28 acres being ring-fenced and dedicated to an ecologically-led regime of enhancements and management, including an ecology warden.

This area is 85 per cent larger than the parcel of land on which The Seahive will sit. These measures are designed to generate a net biodiversity gain in excess of 10 per cent.

Through being a year-round flagship attraction for Dover and the South East which diversifies the traditional seasonal tourist model, The Seahive is anticipated to generate more than 100 jobs during peak season alongside a number of indirect employment opportunities due to increased tourism, longer duration stays and the associated support of local businesses.

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A planning application has been submitted to Dover District Council for the creation of The Seahive, a surf wellness resort on the site of a former colliery spoil tip in Betteshanger Country Park, UK.
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