Eden Project could partner Devon leisure development plan

Cornwall's Eden Project could be part of a lesiure development in Devon.

The Eden Project could be a partner in a £100 million retail and leisure development near junction 27 of the M5, at Tiverton, Devon.

The Westwood development has signed up Eden as part of the project and Eden Project founder Sir Tim Smit said: "The Eden Project has become a part of Cornwall’s landscape but we very much see ourselves as an asset for the whole of the South West.

"With this is mind we have had some very constructive discussions with Westwood and their team about the possibility of the Eden Project having a presence on this exceptionally-located site at the gateway to the South West.

"With all the uncertainty about the funding and promotion of the Westcountry's tourism industry, the opportunity to explore creating a destination promoting the whole region is very interesting."

The Westwood development plans eight separate zones, including a surf park with an artificial wave generator in a 300m long man-made lagoon, a concert venue, a ‘Made in the West’ artisan retail village, a cinema, a hotel and conference centre, motorway services and outdoor activities.

Westwood representative Gavin Stollar said: "We’re in positive and constructive conversations with almost all landowners.

"We have taken the idea to market and the appetite for some really significant names and brands to come to mid Devon it has been exceptional."

Mid Devon District Council’s cabinet will discuss the scheme on December 11 and will recommend whether to include it in the area’s draft Local Plan. This will then be ratified by the full council on December 17.

This Local Plan would then need to be agreed by the Secretary of State with planning permission also needed. Developers would like to begin construction work in late 2016 or early 2017. Westwood would take between 12 and 18 months to build.

Eden is also looking at sites in China and elsewhere in the far east.

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