South East England Regional Assembly

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					AGENDA ITEM 5 Annex 1

Destination South East
Regional Spatial Planning Strategy for Tourism Proposed Amendments to RPG9
(Map indicating priority areas will be tabled at the meeting)

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Destination South East

Introduction In preparing the proposed amendments to RPG9 in relation to tourism and related sport and recreation, the overall spatial strategy has not been the subject of a review. The existing spatial priorities set out in RPG9 remain. However, the proposed amendments do set out additional spatial priorities in relation to the growth and management of tourism and related activities. The formal time horizon for the policies proposed is therefore 2016, however the Assembly has taken the opportunity provided by this review to set out a longer-term vision to 2026. These proposed alterations to RPG propose a number of new policies to be included in a new Chapter entitled ‘Tourism and Related Sport and Recreation’. The alterations also propose selective amendments to a limited number of existing policies (and their supporting text) in RPG9 in so far as they relate to the scope of this strategy. All policies in this Strategy should be read in conjunction with Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG9) issued in March 2001. Our Vision. The vision for tourism recognises the value of the industry to quality of life in the South East and contends that its contribution to the spatial development of the South East can be significantly enhanced for the good of the region. The Strategy sets out to deliver the following aim over the period to 2026: A diverse and higher value tourism sector that plays an enhanced role in the sustainable development of the region by:  delivering a high quality and rewarding experience for all visitors;  providing a greater variety of jobs over a wide range of skill levels;  providing stronger support for urban renaissance and regeneration, especially in the priority sub-regions;  helping to diversify and develop further the rural economy;  underpinning and promoting environmental quality and local distinctiveness in town and country;  generating community benefits to enhance quality of life.

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Destination South East PRIORITY AREAS FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT Thames Gateway 1.1. The planned development activity along the North Kent coast over the period covered by this strategy is unprecedented in that area and forms a significant element of the regeneration plans for the Thames Gateway as a whole. The area will also benefit directly from high-speed access to London and continental Europe at Ebbsfleet, from 2007. The anticipated economic growth and planned transport improvements (including FASTRACK) should provide the opportunity to develop a valuable business tourism market provided suitable quality accommodation and conference/ exhibition facilities are made available. Similarly the Mayor of London’s aspirations to host the 2012 Olympics in East London could provide significant opportunities for high quality sports related and ancillary development activity in the area as well as significant visitor numbers, the legacy of which could be particularly beneficial for the sub-region. The area also benefits from environmental assets, including internationally designated wildlife habitats, which could provide additional opportunities for tourism activity, if appropriately managed. A proposal for a regional park for Thames Gateway Kent encompassing a series of country parks forming part of a wider branded ‘Green Grid’ also offers considerable potential and associated opportunities for rural diversification. Sustainable transport links will be essential to connect the various attractions in the area and encourage longer stays. Thames Valley 1.2. That part of the region bordering West London experiences very high levels of tourism and day visitor activity, which makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Focused on the M4 corridor it benefits from a well-developed transport infrastructure, with excellent international communications via Heathrow airport. The area is also home to three of the regions most visited attractions: Thorpe Park, Legoland and Windsor Castle. A key characteristic of this area is the scale of business tourism activity, unique within the South East context. A co-ordinated and integrated approach (between planning, transport and tourism authorities and operators) to the strategic planning and management of tourism related activity in this sub-region is urgently required. This should include a concerted action in relation to visitor management for existing attractions and events, and a requirement for all new attractions to be accessible by public transport. Cross boundary cooperation (including with outer London boroughs) should also be actively pursued in the context of planning for new hotel developments in the area, given the pressure on land resources from competing uses. Coastal Strip and the Isle of Wight 1.3. The coastal strip comprises a particularly diverse landscape including the traditional coastal resorts, major urban centres for which tourism may or may not be a key economic driver (such as Portsmouth, Brighton and Southampton) dramatic natural coastline, attractive rural hinterlands, and high quality natural landscapes (including parts of the South Downs and New Forest). The coastal strip accommodates a huge diversity of tourism related activity from short activity breaks (land and sea based), to traditional seaside holidays, business conferences, and numerous day visits to visitor attractions (e.g. museums, aquariums etc). Given the intensity and diversity of tourism activity in this area, and the Regional Transport Strategy proposals for significantly enhanced access along the south coast, there should be
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Destination South East real scope for authorities to work together to deliver and integrated and holistic tourism product, with different centres offering complementary services and functions. To this end major new investments in tourism facilities and infrastructure in key resorts should be appraised in a sub-regional context, in terms of the added value they bring to the coastal strip as a whole. South Downs and New Forest National Parks 1.4. The South East has two national parks, the New Forest and the South Downs, both nationally significant visitor destinations. The latter, with 30 million leisure visits annually is the most visited National Park in the UK. The majority of land area covered by the two national parks is of special interest for nature conservation including areas designated under international and national designations (See Map X, Annex A). Considerable work has been undertaken by the Sussex Downs Conservation Board on promoting the links between sympathetically managed countryside, reinstating traditional agricultural practices, environmental benefit, quality local produce and green tourism and access issues. This integrated approach to rural development should continue to be a priority for the new National Park authority which assumes planning powers from the relevant local authorities. The Countryside Agency identified a number of pressures which are beginning to diminish the tranquillity of the New Forest including traffic, major developments and creeping suburbanisation, as well as recreational pressures on biodiversity. The designation of the area as a National Park provides opportunities for integrated landscape and visitor management as well as increased resources and stronger planning powers for the majority of the area within the Park boundary.

1.5.

1.6.

Milton and Keynes and Ashford Growth Areas 1.7. The Deputy Prime Minister has identified Milton Keynes and the South Midlands and Ashford as two of the growth areas for the delivery of sustainable communities over the next 30 years. The scale of growth in these areas will be regionally significant both in terms of population and employment. As a consequence it will be important that opportunities for tourism, sport and recreation related development opportunities are identified and fully integrated into the development plans for these areas.

Oxford and West Oxfordshire 1.8. Oxford is one of the South East’s major visitor destinations, particularly for overseas visitors. Experiencing up to three quarters of a million staying visitors per year it is a regionally significant destination for overnight as well as day visits. However, many of the visitor pressures faced in the city are a result of the high proportion of day visits, particularly from London. Stronger integration of the city’s tourism market with the surrounding countryside would help to encourage longer stays perhaps as the starting point for visits into the Cotswolds and the West Country. Many of the South East’s key tourism areas have strong linkages to tourism destinations in neighbouring regions. In these areas particular emphasis should be given to cross

1.9.

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Destination South East boundary working to ensure that tourism and related activity is developed and managed in a complementary way. 1.10. The Regional Transport Strategy will support these spatial objectives for tourism development and management by:  Enhancing orbital movement in the region (with a particular emphasis in enhancing multimodal access along the coastal strip);  Enhancing access to the regions main international passenger gateways (Gatwick, Heathrow, Southampton, Port of Dover, Portsmouth and the Channel Tunnel);  Setting investment priorities which address the transport constraints to the development of areas suited to tourism growth (Thames Gateway, East Kent, Ashford, Sussex Coast, South Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and Milton Keynes) and provide alternatives to the car in areas of transport pressure (e.g. highly visited areas adjacent to West London). POLICY 1 Within the framework set by the overall vision and objectives of the Regional Spatial Planning Strategy for Tourism, development plans, local tourism/cultural strategies and local transport plans should seek to emphasise and implement the following subregional priorities: i ii Thames Gateway - Realising the potential for growth in business, sporting, environmental and attraction based tourism as part of the wider regeneration strategy for the Gateway, adding value to the existing tourism market. The Coastal Strip and the Isle of Wight – Seeking complementary approaches to the development and management of the coastal strip so as to upgrade the facilities and extend the season in a way which reduces competition between different resorts. South Downs and New Forest National Parks – Developing of new area wide integrated approaches to conservation and visitor management which seek to develop land management and recreational access in a complementary way for the benefit of the local community, economy and environment. Milton Keynes and Ashford – Making appropriate provision for tourism, sport and recreation provision within the context of their identification as regional growth areas for the delivery of sustainable communities. Thames Valley – Cross border working to managing the pressures associated with existing high levels of business and leisure tourism activity, through improved visitor management, enhanced public transport access to larger attractions, and strategic planning of visitor accommodation. Oxford and West Oxfordshire – Encouraging longer stays through an integrated and inter-regional approach to the development of the area as a gateway to the Cotswolds.

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Local authorities and the Regional Tourist Boards should pursue an inter-regional approach to the co-ordination and management in the following tourism areas:  The Thames Gateway (London and South Essex)

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Destination South East    West Oxfordshire (Costwolds) New Forest (Dorset) Thames Valley (West London)

COASTAL RESORTS 1.11. The traditional coastal seaside resorts have been hardest hit by the decline in long stay holidays by domestic tourists in the UK. Most will need to diversify and some will need to move away from tourism all together. This will necessarily involve identifying and developing new markets alongside their traditional holiday base and strengthening the product to attract these. This could include a diversity of product offers in relation to arts, entertainment, health, sport or fitness. It will also include the diversification of the local economy into other non-tourism related activities. A comprehensive strategy should be developed based upon a holistic vision for the resort as an area to live work and visit. The type of facilities and associated investment required to deliver the vision may differ significantly from those traditionally provided. Higher value added tourism should be the overall objective with the emphasis is on quality of visitor experience as opposed to the number of visitors. 1.12. Where appropriate, local planning authorities covering resorts should consider identifying and defining ‘core areas’ which encompass the key visitor attractions and facilities (e.g. accommodation) within their development plans. As a planning tool, this concept can help define the management priorities for the core area. For example, tourism investment can be prioritised within the envelope whilst other forms of development can have priority outside it. 1.13. Within these core areas attention should be given to:  Improving the general environment and making it a special and distinctive place within the town;  Maintaining architectural distinctiveness and promoting high quality design by highlighting their special character whether it is vernacular building style or introducing public/ environmental art;  Controlling inappropriate development which may be detrimental to the overriding objectives for the core area and encouraging appropriate re-investment;  Establishing and co-ordinating area management initiatives, including mobility management, involving retailers and other commercial interests;  Addressing the implications of coastal flooding;  Controlling the gradual reduction of bedstock in the core tourism areas, or alternatively encouraging the conversion of unviable or outdated accommodation stock for complementary tourism related uses such as holiday apartments, which are unlikely to harm the tourism character of the area;  Use of land assembly powers where these are required to facilitate the regeneration/redevelopment of key seafront sites. 1.9. Appropriately managed, most resorts can absorb large numbers of visitors with little adverse impact. Other destinations within their hinterlands such as areas with high landscape value or small villages are more susceptible to damage and erosion of character. Hence, resorts can act as a reservoir of demand for the surrounding rural hinterland through the promotion of a resort as a town by the sea as well as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside.

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Destination South East This is particularly pertinent in the South East because of the difficulties of developing additional accommodation in inland areas covered by environmental designations. Where this is the case, neighbouring coastal and inland authorities should work together in developing their respective tourism strategies and local development frameworks to ensure complementarity. An integrated cross-border approach to the provision of public transport and visitor management would be particularly beneficial. POLICY 2 Opportunities should be sought to diversify the economic base of the region’s coastal resorts, whilst consolidating and upgrading tourism facilities in ways which promote higher value activity, reduce seasonality and support urban regeneration. To meet these objectives: i Local strategic partnerships (LSPs) covering coastal resorts are encouraged to establish a shared vision and strategy for the future of tourism in their area, and its contribution to wider regeneration objectives. Where appropriate, this should be undertaken in co-operation with neighbouring LSPs, which, together, form an integrated tourism market. ii Development Plans (and/or Supplementary Planning Guidance) should address the spatial dimensions of an agreed vision for tourism and identify ‘core areas’ and associated policies for tourism in coastal resorts to which specific tourism related planning policies apply for the purposes of: controlling inappropriate development; co-ordinating management and environmental initiatives; setting development objectives; identifying land for particular types of tourism related development; and, identifying necessary infrastructure investments. iii SEEDA should work proactively with other members of LSPs covering coastal resorts in the Priority Areas for Economic Regeneration (PAERs) to facilitate the development and implementation of regeneration strategies. iv Local authorities in collaboration with the Regional Tourist Board should act strategically to develop complementary approaches to the marketing and development of the coastal resorts to enhance their overall competitiveness.

TOURISM RELATED RURAL DIVERSIFICATION AND DEVELOPMENT 1.10. Tourism, recreation and leisure activity in rural areas can bring very significant economic, social and environmental benefits if carefully managed, and in many instances will serve to underpin the continued viability of local services, including village shops, country pubs and agricultural enterprises. Other forms of rural diversification including woodland initiatives and the marketing of locally branded farm produce can also be mutually supportive of tourism activity and opportunities to develop linkages should be actively identified and pursued. However, the potentially significant environmental impacts associated with tourism and recreation related development warrants the inclusion of specific criteria in development plans against which the development applications for these uses should be considered. These should be in accordance with the general principles set out in Policy Q7 of RPG9. In this respect tourism and related uses may provide particular benefits in
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Destination South East terms of assisting with the retention or re-use of historic buildings contributing to the character of the countryside. 1.11. The River Thames and other inland waterways provide further opportunities for sustainable tourism if suitably planned and provided for. Although recreational boating facilities are generally small and widely dispersed, there are a large number of recreational boats within the region of which over half have accommodation and catering facilities. A shortage of moorings throughout the region however prohibits growth, often due to conflicts with nature conservation objectives. Local authorities should seek to positively address this issue through development plans. Policy E6 provides further guidance on leisure, recreation, sporting and cultural development in the countryside. Rural market towns experiencing visitor pressure should adopt integrated visitor management strategies alongside town centre management to ensure they can adapt positively to changing travel habits, retail patterns and lifestyles more generally. It is important that growth in visitor numbers is managed in such a way that it does not undermine intrinsic environmental qualities. In a similar way to coastal resorts, market towns can provide the base from which visitors explore the rural hinterland. Similarly, the tourism and related linkages between market towns and the surrounding countryside will be strengthened by an integrated approach to transport management, marketing and promotion and product development. This will also help encourage longer stays.

1.12.

POLICY 3 Opportunities to promote tourism and recreation-based rural diversification should be encouraged where they provide jobs for local residents and are of a scale and type appropriate to their location. i Local development plans covering rural areas should: 1) Provide guidance on rural tourism and recreation related development. These should set out clear criteria against which development proposals will be assessed and should include impacts upon:  the local economy (including the extent to which activity will support the provision of local services);  landscape and environment (including support for the re-use of redundant buildings), in accordance with Policy Q7;  local traffic and accessibility.

2) Support informal recreation and leisure activities in accordance with Policy E6; 3) 4) Support proposals to which seek to develop the tourism opportunities associated with other types of rural development initiatives; Protect access to and support proposals for upgrading inland waterways and associated facilities for recreational use, in accordance with relevant management strategies.

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Destination South East ii For market towns and surrounding countryside areas with significant tourism potential, local authorities should identify actions required to strengthen their internal linkages through the provision of integrated sustainable transport, and complementary product development, investment and marketing.

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Destination South East URBAN RENAISSANCE AND REGENERATION Insert into RPG9 as new paragraph 5.10b The promotion of tourism and related leisure uses in urban centres will assist the diversification of functions and services and the reuse of land and historic and redundant buildings. In turn, the provision of new or upgraded facilities, supplemented by regular cultural events, can help increase the attractiveness of these urban centres not only as places to visit but also places to live and work. Associated visitor spend can also significantly underpin and enhance town centre retail provision. Accompanied by complementary management initiatives (i.e. visitor management, town centre management etc.), tourism and leisure industries have the potential to support the promotion of an urban renaissance. This is equally applicable in more affluent urban centres and market towns across the region as it is in the PAERs. Waterside sites are increasingly attractive foci for urban regeneration schemes, with numerous recent examples across the region, however care should be taken to avoid loss of waterside sites to uses which do not require deep water access, in areas where there is a shortage of deep water moorings. Proposed addition to RPG9 Policy Q2 Add new clause a (ix): {Development plans should} include provision for tourism, recreation, cultural and arts activities as part of wider mixed-use development schemes within town and city centres. PROVISION FOR REGIONALLY SIGNIFICANT SPORTS FACILITIES 1.15. Sport England have identified facilities of regional or national importance as1:  Facilities which contribute to a national or international event;  Facilities contributing to the development of the UK Sports Institute Headquarters and the network of regional sites;  National and regional facilities identified in the strategies of the national governing bodies of sport;  Stadia development with sub-regional implications. Within its Planning Policy Statement and its National Lottery Strategy, Sport England seeks large-scale investment in new and improved sports facilities. Many governing bodies for sport have now produced their own facility strategies, identifying the need for new or upgraded facilities that are of regional or national significance. Sport England will play a valuable role in advising individual local authorities on the need to provide for these facilities through the development plan process. Well-managed sporting facilities of this scale and/or quality can also provide considerable benefits to local communities as well as the sports clubs they serve and local authorities should seek to maximise these benefits where possible.

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Planning Policies for Sport: a land use planning policy statement on behalf of sport (Sport England, November 1999).

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Destination South East POLICY 5 Opportunities should be sought to protect, upgrade existing, and develop new, regionally significant sporting facilities in the region in accordance with the facilities strategies produced by the national governing bodies for sport, i In preparing and reviewing development plans local authorities should: 1. make adequate provision for the needs of regionally significant sporting venues to redevelop or expand to meet future demands and requirements of the sport and of the spectator, taking into account sports governing bodies’ Needs Strategies; where possible, focus the development of large new sporting venues, attracting large numbers of spectators, in urban areas accessible by public transport.

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Sport England should advise local authorities on the need for new or expanded regionally significant sporting venues, in accordance with sports governing bodies strategies. Regional partners, including Sport England, SEEDA and the Regional Assembly, should in partnership with the Greater London Authority identify and promote opportunities for new investment in sports facilities in the region which may be needed to underpin a successful bid for a London Olympics in 2012.

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REGIONALLY SIGNIFICANT TOURISM ATTRACTIONS 1.16. A visitor attraction is defined by the tourism industry as a ‘permanently established excursion destination, a primary purpose of which is to allow public access for entertainment, interest or education, rather than being a primary retail outlet or a venue for sporting, theatrical or film performances’ (‘Action for Attractions’, English Tourism Council, 2000). Within the South East, further provision of large attractions is unlikely to significantly expand the overall volume of tourism, and may have adverse implications for existing attractions. ‘Regionally-significant’ attractions (defined as those attracting at least 250,000 visitors per annum on the basis of their likely traffic impact given the seasonal nature of demand) should only be encouraged in exceptional circumstances. One such exception is the Thames Gateway - an area with an absence of any major attractions but one for which major population and employment growth is planned with significant improvements in transport accessibility. The overall market for tourism could therefore significantly expand in this area and other growth areas. Development within the PAERs would also be in accordance with the RPG9 spatial objectives. 1.17. For new regionally significant attractions the onus will be on developers to demonstrate that they have assessed all potential development locations within the growth areas and the PAERs. Only if it can be demonstrated that a suitable site/location for the attraction cannot be found within these areas should other locations be considered, other than in exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances might include for example, where the location of
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Destination South East a particular attraction is dependent upon the intrinsic physical or built environment characteristics of a particular site. In this case local planning authorities should be prepared to consider the possibility of one-off visionary projects (e.g. Eden Project in Cornwall). In this instance a proposal should be treated on its merits, taking account of the potential economic benefits to the area and the region, the impact on the environment locally and more widely and the extent of ‘fit’ with other plans and policies already in place. 1.18. For all other visitor attractions, local authorities should specify development criteria that seek to enhance the overall visitor experience, allowing for impacts on existing attractions. POLICY 6 Priority should be given to improving the quality of all existing attractions to meet changing consumer demands and high environmental standards in terms of design and access. i Development Plans should: 1) 2) encourage the enhancement and upgrade of existing visitor attractions. include policies for determining applications for all new and changes to existing visitor attractions that are likely to have a significant impact locally. In developing such policies local authorities should incorporate the following criteria:  Do they help reinforce the distinctiveness of a locality  Are they accessible by public transport  Do they provide wet weather facilities and help extend the season  Will they facilitate regeneration  Are they complementary to existing attractions (or will they displace existing activity).

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New regionally significant tourism attractions should only be developed where they will expand the overall tourism market, and can be easily accessed by public transport. A sequential approach to site identification should be adopted for all new regionally significant attractions (those generating more than 250,000 visitors per annum). A suitable location should first be sought within the Thames Gateway, Milton Keynes or Ashford growth areas or one of the PAERs. Only where it can be demonstrated that no suitable sites are available in these areas should other locations be considered.

TOURIST ACCOMMODATION 1.19. The visitor accommodation sector has become increasingly demanding and sophisticated with a wide range of provision catering for specific visitor markets. The sector includes, not only many different types of serviced accommodation (Bed and Breakfast, Motels, Hotels and Guesthouses), but also self-catering accommodation (static caravan parks and touring caravan sites, holiday flats, camp sites, farm-based accommodation etc.). Development plan policies for visitor accommodation should be based upon a thorough understanding of the

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Destination South East needs and characteristics of the many different accommodation sub-sectors required to meet the demands of varied consumer markets. This should be built upon an ongoing dialogue between local authority planners and representatives of the accommodation industry and supported by regular monitoring and assessments of demand and supply across the region both quantitatively and qualitatively. In many parts of the South East the hotel stock is failing to meet changing consumer expectations in terms of standards of service. In many cases the existing stock will require extension to meet these and without upgrade many accommodation providers go out of business and the stock is converted to other uses (e.g. residential). Local authorities, to inform planning decisions, should monitor the cumulative impact of small losses of accommodation stock. 1.20. Hotel developers find it difficult to compete for land in many urban areas due to high land values, and hotel development is often therefore only achievable within the context of mixed-use development. In accordance with national planning guidance on retail and town centres, applications for new hotel developments outside town centres (and not associated with major transport hubs or gateways) local authorities should assess proposals in terms of the likely impact of the proposed development on existing town centre accommodation providers, accessibility by public and other modes of transport; and impact on travel and car use. Assessments should specifically take account of the quality (i.e. service level) as well as the size of the proposed development as this will have a significant influence on the impacts upon existing providers. Limited service provision is particularly suited to town centre locations as it can complement other town centre uses by providing a larger market for their services (e.g. bars and restaurants). Hotel developments which may be considered exempt from the sequential test include applications for or extensions to country hotels, and provision associated with key passenger transport gateways, or regionally significant visitor or sporting attractions. 1.21. There continues to be an on-going need for staff accommodation in association with hotels and unserviced accommodation in the South East, due to the problems of securing affordable housing. The availability of staff housing is critical for many operators to attract and retain staff, and should be encouraged by local authorities where appropriate. 1.23. Unserviced accommodation (e.g. camping and caravan sites, holiday parks, self catering units, farmhouses and youth hostels) are popular and vital components of the leisure accommodation offer in the region, and provide a particularly valuable role in supporting longer stay / higher value rural tourism. Many self catering units in rural parts of the region are under pressure to convert to residential uses to secure quick and substantial financial returns. Local planning authorities should seek to protect good quality accommodation in rural areas, where there is evidence of market demand. 1.24. As visitor expectations change, it is likely that there will be increased demand for improvements to many existing holiday and caravan parks throughout the region, notably in the coastal areas. Significant expansion of existing sites may be required to facilitate the provision of new facilities and meet higher amenity standards. Applications to upgrade facilities should be considered favourably by local authorities where there is evidence of existing or untapped demand subject to environmental policies set out elsewhere in this guidance (see policy E6). POLICY 7

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Destination South East The diversity of the accommodation sector should be positively reflected in tourism and planning policies. i Development plans should: 1. Consider hotels as town centre uses to accord with the sequential approach as set out in PPG6 (Town Centres and Retail Developments), except in circumstances specified in paragraph 1.20. 2. Provide specific guidance on the appropriate location for relevant accommodation sub-sectors based on their needs and characteristics; 3. Encourage the extension of hotels where this is required to upgrade the quality of the existing stock to meet changing consumer demands; 4. Include policies to protect the accommodation stock where there is evidence of market demand; 5. Encourage the provision of affordable staff accommodation as part of large new and existing accommodation facilities, in areas of housing pressure. The criteria for the application of such a requirement should be clearly set out in the development plan; 6. Where relevant, include policies to facilitate the upgrade and enhancement of existing unserviced accommodation where this will not harm landscape quality or identified environmental assets. Particular attention should be paid to identifying suitable sites for the relocation of holiday parks under threat from coastal erosion. ii The Regional Tourist Board and local authorities should, working together, undertake active monitoring of the demand for and supply of tourism accommodation on a regional and sub-regional basis.

VISITOR MANAGEMENT AND ACCESS 1.25. The potential environmental pressures associated with high levels of visitor activity in these areas are intensified as a result of poor visitor management. The land-use planning system cannot by itself manage the pressures associated with these activities. An integrated, interagency approach to visitor management is required to ameliorate:  Visitor congestion during peak months in many of the region’s historic towns and cities;  Damage and disruption in areas of high landscape and environmental value such as the South Downs and New Forest. This can and has been achieved in many areas through the introduction of area-wide visitor management plans. In many cases visitor management plans could usefully be complemented by strategic initiatives to disperse visitor pressure away from identified ‘hotspots’. For example, Policy E6 in RPG9 encourages development plans to provide opportunities for leisure and recreation in the countryside, which enhances its character through maximizing the use of highly managed areas (e.g. country parks) and directing activities to the most sustainable locations that are accessible by all. 1.26. Larger tourism, sport and recreation attractions/destinations, for example theme parks, are important generators of trips. Many one-off major events, such as concerts, festivals or annual sporting events, can also create significant, albeit short term, pressures on local environments. More effective management of access to these large scale facilities and events can reduce adverse transport impacts associated with them without undermining the
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Destination South East benefits of the event to the local economy and visitor experience. An integrated approach to managing visitor access to major tourism sites, both as a permanent attraction and single events, is essential in providing better links to public transport networks, improved parking arrangements (including coach parking) and trips by walking and cycling. Links to a mobility management plan will give greater choice in the mode of travel available, as recommended in the Regional Transport Strategy. POLICY 8 i. Development plans and sub-regional/county tourism or cultural strategies should identify areas, which would benefit from the development and implementation of integrated visitor management plans. Where different local authority areas form part of a single tourism destination or market, opportunities should be taken to co-ordinate or integrate the development and implementation of visitor management plan(s). ii Development plans and local transport plans, should address the management of tourism related travel demand in an integrated way as part of a wider visitor management approach to managing tourism pressures and reflecting the priorities in the Regional Transport Strategy. Depending on the nature of the tourism offer, this should include: 1. Promoting a multi-modal approach to access to attractions and large events. Local authorities should facilitate this by encouraging operators to establish mobility management plans for attractions and events generating large numbers of trips. 2. Developing a range of travel planning approaches to specifically address transport impacts associated with urban and rural tourism. 3. Making stronger links to regional and sub-regional transport planning advice centres.

COUNTRYSIDE AND COASTAL MANAGEMENT Proposed new para 6.10a 1.31. Opportunities should be sought for developing new integrated approaches to local countryside and coastal management. Over the next 5-10 years innovative area-based pilot projects should be established, especially in the priority sub-regions (as defined in Policy 1), to test alternative approaches with a view to rolling out the most successful on a larger scale, following the implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy reform proposals. Pilot projects should test approaches, both in areas of high environmental quality requiring intensive management due to visitor pressure, as well as areas where the emphasis will need to be on landscape enhancement and access improvements to encourage additional visitor activity. These pilot initiatives should seek to address public access, water quality, biodiversity (including the adaptation of habitats to climate change), waste management, visitor management, community participation and skills development. The definition of the areas to be piloted should be informed by landscape designations and relate to Regional Tourist Board priorities for tourism development.

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Destination South East Proposed addition to Policy E6 (insert after existing bold typeface): Integrated area-based countryside and coastal management initiatives should be developed to ensure that the natural resources and landscapes upon which rural tourism is largely dependent are conserved and enhanced. Add new clause (c) i Statutory agencies and the Regional Tourist Board should assist local authorities to identify appropriate areas for the introduction of pilot initiatives for integrated management plans for tourism. Successful approaches should later be replicated across the region focusing on tourist areas of high environmental quality or natural areas with unrealised tourism potential. Where designated areas cross regional administrative boundaries, cross border co-ordination of initiatives will be essential. Integrated management plans for designated environmental areas such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), national parks or national nature reserves should positively address tourism development and management issues.

ii

IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK 7.1 Implementation of this Spatial Strategy will fall on a wide range of partners at the regional, sub-regional and local levels. For each of the policies and proposed amendments to RPG9 policies Table 1 sets out the likely delivery mechanisms. In order for this strategy to achieve its objectives it will be essential for the strategies, policies and action plans of the key agencies to be integrated and work to the same spatial objectives. The Regional Assembly will play a key role in monitoring the implementation of this strategy in this respect. At the regional level SEEDA and the new Regional Tourist Board will be key delivery agents, particularly in relation to skills development, marketing and communications and research. Working together with the Learning and Skills Councils all have important roles to play in raising the productivity of the tourism sector by raising the skills of the tourism workforce. The establishment of a sub-regional delivery structure by the RTB to foster more effective engagement with the tourism industry should facilitate this. At the local level it is important to establish a comprehensive long-term vision for the role of tourism and related activities within a locality. The vision needs to be sufficiently explicit and embedded in the Community Strategy, the local cultural (or tourism) strategy and the local development plan in order to shape investment and decisions. Tourism development should also be a key consideration in the preparation of Area Investment Frameworks where these are promoted by SEEDA. In areas where tourism destinations do not correspond well to local authority boundaries, it may be most effective for local authorities to jointly develop local tourism strategies and / or area-wide visitor management plans, in collaboration with the regional tourist board.

7.3

7.4

7.5

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Destination South East 7.6 It is the role of the development plan to clearly set out how the planning system will help to deliver the physical development, design, and environmental objectives of the agreed vision, as set out in the community and tourism strategies.

Monitoring and Targets to follow

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Destination South East Table 1 POLICY
Priority Areas for Tourism TSR1

Implementation of Tourism Policies MECHANISM
Community Strategies Growth Area Strategies Development Plans Regional Tourism Strategy Local Tourism Strategies Area Investment Frameworks Community Strategies Regional Tourism Strategy Local Tourism Strategies Development Plans Area Investment Frameworks Development Plans ERDP

LEAD ROLES
Local Authorities National Park Authorities Regional Tourist Boards Regional Planning Bodies

SUPPORT ROLES
RDAs Passenger Transport Operators Sport England Government Office

Coastal Resorts TSR2

Local authorities LSPs SEEDA

Regional Tourist Boards

Rural TSR3

Countryside Agency Local Authorities Regional Tourist Board SEEDA Local Authorities Sport England Local authorities Attraction Operators Local Authorities Developers Owners/Operators Local Authorities Regional Tourist Board Local Authorities Developers Tourism Operators

Transport operators DEFRA Regional Assembly Southern and South East Arts Regional Assembly Governing Bodies Needs Strategies Heritage Lottery Fund SEEDA Government Office Government Office

Urban (Q2) Sports Attractions TSR4 Attractions TSR5 Accommodation TSR6

Development Plans National Lottery (Heritage Fund) Development Plans National Lottery (New Opportunities Fund) Development Plans Tourism Strategies Development Plans Regional and Local Tourism Strategies Local Transport Plans Development Plans Tourism Strategies Visitor Management Plans AONB Management Plans ERDP AONB Management Plans

Visitor Management TSR7

Passenger Transport Operators Regional Assembly

Countryside and Coastal Management (E6)

English Nature Countryside Agency Local Authorities AONB Management Boards National Parks

SEEDA Tourist Board

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