Plans unveiled to turn Hayling into an exciting watersports destination

Plans are being laid to turn Hayling Island into the ideal staycation spot, with activity holidays marketed towards families and watersport fanatics.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 4:42 pm
People kite surfing at Hayling Island as part of this year's kitesurfing armada Picture: Habibur Rahman

Havant Borough Council has developed a draft ambition plan for Hayling Island seafront, to regenerate the coast into a more exciting destination.

The plan outlines three regeneration hubs, West Beach, Beachlands and Eastoke with new walking and cycling connections between them.

The council plans on boosting West Beach’s reputation as a hub for watersports, supported by its heritage as the home of windsurfing.

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Dan Charlish founded Kitesurfing Armada, Europe's leading kitesurfing and music festival which Hayling has hosted every year since 2013.

He said: ‘We’re supportive of anything that uses Hayling’s fantastic watersport facilities better, you have world-class water down there and the development plans look good.

‘West Beach needs something, we’ve had to move the festival to a different part of the island because West Beach was so badly affected in storms.

‘It’s great to see that there’s plans to rejuvenate that area and with watersports at the focus because Hayling is famous for it and it has amazing conditions on the water.

‘I’m sure we’ll be fully backing the council’s plans to invest in watersports at that end of West Beach because it needs something, I’d say currently it’s a waste of what is a great resource.’

The Beachlands hub will have more of a community focus, with family-friendly accommodation, sea view cafes and restaurants and improvements to public space and connections to the beach.

Eastoke could offer a new beachfront walk, with public spaces reshaped to host larger outdoor events, festivals and open-air cinemas.

Councillor Clare Satchwell, cabinet lead for planning, Hayling Seafront Strategy and coastal management said she is delighted to help shape the future of Hayling Seafront.

‘We value the feedback of residents, businesses and visitors, and look forward to their thoughts and opinions on how to create the very best opportunities for the island.

'It is important that people note that this is not a fixed plan but a series of ideas that will help shape the future of Haying seafront.’