The Seahive Betteshanger

The Seahive surf lagoon at Betteshanger Country Park (concept image: Hollaway Studio)

Plans submitted for surf lagoon and luxury hotel at Betteshanger Country Park

Ambitious plans for a surf lagoon and luxury 120-bed hotel and spa at Betteshanger Country Park have been submitted to Dover District Council.

The proposals involve creating ‘The Seahive’ - an outdoor, artificially created wave pool with capacity for 90 surfers at any one time.

This would sit alongside a lagoon ‘surf hub’ with changing and training facilities, a café and restaurant.

There would also be dry land practise areas and small water pools for visitors unable to participate in the surfing.

The plans, drawn up by award-winning architects Hollaway, also include a ‘learning hive’ to provide surf therapy to young people at risk of mental ill-health.

In addition to the surfing provision, proposals are for a skate and BMX pump track – with slopes shaped like waves – and a skatepark for children up to six years old.

A wellness centre with a yoga studio and gym, and 15 elevated holiday lodges would also be built on the site if the plans, submitted by Betteshanger Country Park, are approved.

A second planning application has also been submitted by the Betteshanger team for a luxury 120-bed hotel and a spa.

It would include indoor and outdoor swimming pools, jacuzzi spas and 10 treatment rooms, as well as a yoga room.

This is in addition to the family-friendly accommodation, a lounge and a restaurant.

If the two applications are approved, the hotel, spa and surfing lagoon will form part of an impressive offering at the country park near Deal, which has seen new facilities added in recent years, including a new visitor centre, café and restaurant, and improved play park.

The 250-acre site, previously a colliery which shut in 1989, also boasts numerous outdoor activities, from off-road cycle trails to nature and wildlife walks.

The team at Betteshanger Country Park says there is a clear need for high quality, sustainable four and five star accommodation in the Dover district.

Planning documents, drawn up by Iceni Projects on behalf of the team, states the proposed development would enable the site to address this identified need while also delivering new employment opportunities.

They state The Seahive would deliver significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the area.

“The proposal will enhance the social, health and well-being benefits of the wider Country Park by offering opportunities for physical activity and connection with green and blue infrastructure,” the planning documents state.

“It also secures the long-term viability and deliverability of the Betteshanger Country Park, significantly boosting visitor numbers to sustain a key social, recreation and community hub for the local area, helping provide the investment that the Country Park needs to thrive and fulfil its immense potential in education, recreation and tourism.

“The application proposal represents a transformational development for Dover that will unlock the economic potential of Betteshanger Country Park and support the aims and ambitions of DDC to grow the tourism industry in the district.”

To see the two planning applications visit and search planning reference 22/01152 for the hotel and 22/01158 for The Seahive.

Posted on 05/10/2022