Plans to build a northern version of the Eden Project in Lancashire in a £125m project have been formally submitted.
The proposals for the Morecambe scheme have been sent to Lancaster City Council for consideration and, if approved, the scheme is due to open in 2024.
The move is the latest milestone for the project and comes after years of development work by Eden and its partners and hundreds of hours of formal and informal community consultation.
Eden Project North 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.
Eden Project North’s “shell like” domes will be constructed in timber and covered in a flexible transparent membrane with integrated solar cells, reports LancsLive.
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 whilst (while) providing more sheltered public space.
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Surrounding the buildings will be a collection of outdoor gardens, designed to reflect the flora, geology and rhythms of their unique coastal environment.
These include the Rhythm Garden, which reimagines the existing Bay Arena and the Tide Garden, whose beds spiral down towards a tidal pool at the garden’s centre.
Eden Project North will be situated on the former site of the Bubbles leisure complex with the grade II*-listed Winter Gardens and Midland Hotel its near neighbours.
The project will have two restaurants, one on either side of the site, with both featuring indoor and outdoor seating and views across Morecambe Bay.
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.
“This is a huge moment for Eden Project North but we are not resting on our laurels. The hard work continues and we hope to have positive news about funding for the project before the end of this year.”
With the planning application submitted, Eden is still working on securing funding for the landmark project and conversations with the UK Government are ongoing.