Formal planning application submitted for Eden Project North

The Eden Project has achieved a major milestone in its intentions to create a Northern location by submitting a planning application for its proposed site in Morecambe.

The application has been submitted to Lancaster City Council and describes the vision for the £125m project: a major tourist attraction showcasing sustainable design and reimagining the British seaside resort.

The project, which if is scheduled to open in 2024, is being delivered by the team behind the first Eden Project in Cornwall, alongside local partners Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

The structure's shell-like domes will be constructed in timber and covered in a flexible transparent membrane with integrated solar cells. These four shells – known as the Rhythm Machine, the Bay Glade, the Bay Hall and the Natural Observatory – are set in a 'dunescape of landscaped roofing planted with coastal vegetation.

The layout of the domes has evolved since the early stages of design and they now surround the central Four Seasons Garden, to make better use of the available space and light while providing more sheltered public space.

Surrounding the buildings will be a collection of outdoor gardens, designed to reflect the flora, geology and rhythms of their unique coastal environment.

This will also be a hugely significant milestone in securing the £70m funding from the government that is required

The planning application is supported by a comprehensive Transport Assessment, Travel Plan and Environmental Impact Assessment which collectively provide a rigorous assessment of traffic and parking impacts.

Visitor flow will be managed with timed ticketing slots and combined travel and admission tickets. Incentives will be offered for those who arrive by walking, cycling or public transport.

Visitors who chose to arrive by car will be required to pre-book spaces either in existing car parks in Morecambe or at the park and ride service at junction 34 of the M6 to prevent congestion. Eden will continue to engage with and support the local community and other interested parties regarding future transport plans.

Eden’s ambition is for the construction and operations of Eden Project North to go beyond net zero carbon emissions and achieve a net positive environmental position.

The submission of the planning application follows a formal consultation incorporating an online exhibition and in-person events. Feedback from the online consultation was overwhelmingly positive, revealing that 97 per cent of respondents were in support of Eden Project North with 94 per cent agreeing that the benefits will be felt throughout Morecambe and the wider area.

David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, said: “The submission of the Eden Project North planning application is the culmination of years of hard work from the Eden team and our partners and a reflection of our many conversations with the Morecambe community.

"Eden Project North is a true collaborative effort and everyone who has taken part in our consultations, both formal and informal, can be confident that their input has helped shape this project. We are enormously proud of how this project has developed and hugely grateful to everyone who has contributed to it, especially considering the incredibly difficult circumstances of the last 18 months."

David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said: “I am sure the council will look favourably on the Eden application as it is what the whole of the community in Morecambe and the wider area want. This will also be a hugely significant milestone in securing the £70m funding from the government that is required to make Eden a reality and create prosperity and opportunity for current and future generations.”

Debbie Francis, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership which contributed £1.2m of Growth Deal funding, said: “It is really exciting that Eden Project North has reached another milestone and the county is one step closer to seeing such a transformational scheme for both the immediate and wider area come to fruition.”

The application has been submitted to Lancaster City Council and will now be subject to a statutory consultation period. It can be accessed using the reference 21/01113/FUL. A decision on whether planning permission is granted is due before the end of this year (2021). WSP acted as planning consultants for the Eden Project North planning application.

  • For further Lancashire business news, advice and analysis subscribe to Lancashire Business View or join the LBV Hub from just £2.50 per month. Click here to subscribe now.