Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay plc has submitted a planning application to Swansea Council to build an international watersport centre.
The application has been submitted following the exclusion of recreational facilities from the Development Consent Order for the energy generating station that was granted by the UK Government on 9 June 2015.
Inspired by traditional fishing warehouses and boathouses, the design of the 4,000m2 building has been developed by Faulkner Browns as an important component of the lagoon masterplan. Faulkner Browns are the architects behind the 2012 Olympics sailing centre in Weymouth and many other award-winning sports facilities.
Designed to complement local industry and heritage, the watersport centre will provide an ‘outdoors’ focussed centre of excellence for both recreational and competitive sporting facilities, complete with boat storage, welfare areas and orientation facilities supporting the iconic visitor centre out on the seawall. Critically, the building will also house operations, maintenance and research facilities supporting TLSB’s commitments to monitor and mitigate the lagoon’s environmental impacts throughout its 120-year life. This includes a lobster and oyster hatchery to support the company’s aim to invigorate these species’ populations in the Bay.
The hatchery will house a fully serviced aquaculture facility with a seawater circulation system of tanks and hives, enhanced by a glass envelope to generate greenhouse conditions for optimised algae growth. The greenhouse structure will harness solar power, generating a clean, low-energy, nutrient supply to the hatchery.
Alex Herbert, Head of Planning for Tidal Lagoon Power said: “The application includes the public realm and other facilities at the western landfall of the recently-consented lagoon. It is identical to the excluded facilities and demonstrates our commitment to providing all the benefits of the scheme as originally consulted upon.”
“The lagoon is an ideal place to host watersports, so we need the onshore facilities to support them. The watersport centre will be capable of hosting local, national and international events and we hope will encourage people to participate in sport using the facilities provided. We have given attention to disabled watersports facilities ensuring access and safe training for everyone.”
“The building is also the obvious place to house our research and monitoring facilities, supporting the commitments we made following the lagoon’s environmental impact assessment. We hope this facility will promote expertise in mariculture, as well as supporting environmental impact assessment work for TLSB and our programme of further UK and international lagoons.”
Mike Hall of Faulkner Brown said: “The project is a unique opportunity to use renewable energy generation infrastructure creatively to secure social benefits for local people in the form of this fantastic recreational watersports facility.”
As the world’s first, man-made, energy-generating lagoon, with 320MW installed capacity averaging 14 hours of generation every day, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will provide clean, renewable, reliable and predictable power for over 155,000 homes for over 120 years. It could be connected to the National Grid by 2019.