South East England Regional Assembly

Document Sample
South East England Regional Assembly Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                           AGENDA ITEM 5
                                                                                                Annex 1

                               Destination South East

            Regional Spatial Planning Strategy for

                          Proposed Amendments to RPG9

                           (Map indicating priority areas will be tabled at the meeting)

                                                     Page 1 of 18
Destination South East


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.

 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                            Page 2 of 18
Destination South East


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

 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                          Page 3 of 18
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).

1.5.     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.

1.6.     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.

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.

1.9.     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

  D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                                Page 4 of 18
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 multi-
              modal 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).


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 sub-
regional priorities:

i           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.
ii          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.
iii         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.
iv          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.
v           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.
vi          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.

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)

     D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                          Page 5 of 18
Destination South East

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


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

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.

 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                            Page 6 of 18
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.


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
       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.


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

 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                            Page 7 of 18
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.

1.12.      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.


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)      Support proposals to which seek to develop the tourism opportunities
                   associated with other types of rural development initiatives;

           4)      Protect access to and support proposals for upgrading inland waterways
                   and associated facilities for recreational use, in accordance with relevant
                   management strategies.

    D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                           Page 8 of 18
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.

     D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                Page 9 of 18
Destination South East


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


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.

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

    D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                                     Page 10 of 18
Destination South East


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;

               2.     where possible, focus the development of large new sporting venues,
                      attracting large numbers of spectators, in urban areas accessible by
                      public transport.

ii          Sport England should advise local authorities on the need for new or expanded
            regionally significant sporting venues, in accordance with sports governing
            bodies strategies.

iii         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


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

     D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                       Page 11 of 18
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.


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)        encourage the enhancement and upgrade of existing visitor attractions.

            2)        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).

ii          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.


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

     D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                           Page 12 of 18
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).


 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                          Page 13 of 18
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.


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, inter-
      agency approach to visitor management is required to ameliorate:
         Visitor congestion during peak months in many of the region’s historic towns and
         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

     D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                     Page 14 of 18
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.


     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


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.

     D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                       Page 15 of 18
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.
      ii        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.


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

7.3        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.

7.4        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.

7.5        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.

 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                               Page 16 of 18
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

 D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                         Page 17 of 18
Destination South East

Table 1              Implementation of Tourism Policies

POLICY                        MECHANISM                      LEAD ROLES                SUPPORT
Priority Areas for            Community Strategies           Local Authorities         RDAs
Tourism TSR1                  Growth Area Strategies         National Park             Passenger Transport
                              Development Plans              Authorities               Operators
                              Regional Tourism               Regional Tourist Boards   Sport England
                              Strategy                       Regional Planning         Government Office
                              Local Tourism                  Bodies
                              Area Investment

Coastal Resorts TSR2          Community Strategies           Local authorities         Regional Tourist Boards
                              Regional Tourism               LSPs
                              Strategy                       SEEDA
                              Local Tourism
                              Development Plans
                              Area Investment
Rural TSR3                    Development Plans              Countryside Agency        Transport operators
                              ERDP                           Local Authorities         DEFRA
                                                             Regional Tourist Board    Regional Assembly

Urban (Q2)                    Development Plans              Local Authorities         Southern and South East
                              National Lottery                                         Arts
                              (Heritage Fund)                                          Regional Assembly
Sports Attractions            Development Plans              Sport England             Governing Bodies
TSR4                          National Lottery (New          Local authorities         Needs Strategies
                              Opportunities Fund)

Attractions TSR5              Development Plans              Attraction Operators      Heritage Lottery Fund
                              Tourism Strategies             Local Authorities         SEEDA
                                                                                       Government Office
Accommodation TSR6            Development Plans              Developers                Government Office
                              Regional and Local             Owners/Operators
                              Tourism Strategies             Local Authorities
                                                             Regional Tourist Board
Visitor Management            Local Transport Plans          Local Authorities         Passenger Transport
TSR7                          Development Plans              Developers                Operators
                              Tourism Strategies             Tourism Operators         Regional Assembly
                              Visitor Management
                              AONB Management
Countryside and               ERDP                           English Nature            SEEDA
Coastal Management            AONB Management                Countryside Agency        Tourist Board
(E6)                          Plans                          Local Authorities
                                                             AONB Management
                                                             National Parks

  D:\Docstoc\Working\pdf\f429f915-fa31-44ea-b54d-6fca5e0b2ea9.doc                                              Page 18 of 18

Shared By: