For the past 16 years, millions have flocked to Cornwall to visit the Eden Project. The plant filled biomes have welcomed the likes of Jessie J, Elbow, and, most recently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and now the people behind the successful project are taking the next stem, and hoping to open a second venue.
Consultation for the £200 million project began recnetly, and plans have been outlined to show what the site will look like. The project, named Eden Westwood, will be located next to the M5 near Tiverton and is a partnership between AXA/Friend Life Ltd and the Eden Project. The creators are hoping the site will be included in the Mid Devon Local Plan.
Dreamt up by Eden co-founder Sir Tim Smit, the centre piece of the project would be a glass “ark”, surrounded by a surf lake and beach themed hotel. There are also plans to include outdoor leisure activities, a designer outlet village, and traveller services. Quite different to the Eden Project we know and love.
Eden Westwood development manager Malcolm Dudley-Williams said: “The consultation is going very well; we have met a number of members who have very interesting views on the future of this district.”
Creators have also stressed that it isn’t going to be like any development we’ve seen before; they want to create something that benefits the whole region. They hope to give a boost to employment in the area, whilst also providing shoppers and visitors with an alternative space. Dudley-Williams added “this is not just going to be a regular development with a few shops and a service area, it’s going to be much much more than that”.
Mid Devon District Councillors will be voting on 22nd September to decide whether Eden Westwood will be included in the Local Plan. If it is, more detailed plans can be drawn up. However, if it is not included then executive developer of outreach and development Peter Stewart believes that the site is unlikely to ever be created; “If we don’t get that into the Local Plan then the whole concept of Eden Westwood is made much more difficult and it’s likely not to happen.”
For more information, visit the Eden Westwood site here