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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 July, 2005, 08:21 GMT 09:21 UK
Artificial reef decision date set
The artificial reef would be Europe's first
The creation of Europe's first artificial surf reef could come a step closer next week as authorities examine improvements to a south coast seafront.

If planning authorities give the expected go-ahead for a restaurant, piazza and beach huts at Boscombe, Bournemouth, the reef will follow.

Sunk off the coast, it would create waves of up to four feet and hopefully turn the town into a surf resort.

Thursday's meeting is scheduled to take place at the Pineview Ballroom.

The land-based elements of the scheme involve converting the centre part of the Overstrand building to a restaurant with panoramic views and adding lifeguard facilities to the ground floor.

It also includes 42 large beach huts for both long and short-term hire and refurbishments to Boscombe pier.

Councillor Ken Mantock said: "As chairman I am committed to the board discussing major planning applications out in the community rather than in the town hall.

"By doing this, more people can attend, hear the debate and understand the planning issues we have to consider before making a decision."

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