Core Strategy Consultation on Strategy Directions 2008

Representation ID: 19189

Received: 28/01/2009


Agent: Brett Drury Land & Planning

Representation Summary:

The vision will fail without a more encouraging, flexible and responsive approach to tourism and Leisure expansion as a valuable business within Rother.

In rural and coastal areas such opportunities will be prevented or severely restricted by suggested policy direction.

Full text:

• Vision for 2026: 'sustainable economic growth will have been secured...' This will only be the case if opportunities to expand and enhance the tourism and leisure facilities are fully explored. The vision needs to recognise a need to accommodate the changing needs and aspirations of visitors by having a flexible approach to expansion and redevelopment of the existing tourist facilities. This is not demonstrated by the policy directions wording.

• Rural areas of the district will have evolved "organically"...etc. This statement is at odds with general intentions elsewhere in policy, to realise opportunities to substantially expand and upgrade existing brown-field sites whether or not in rural areas. In particular this statement does not recognise the opportunities which exist to grow the tourism and leisure industry in coastal resorts such as at Camber. Such opportunities may be significant in scale and not 'organic' in character. Draft PPS4 makes clear the need for Core-Strategy visions to support and encourage economic opportunity:

"Using evidence to plan positively
Regional planning bodies and local planning authorities should use a wide evidence base to understand both existing business needs and likely changes in the market, to prepare policies to support sustainable economic development in their area.

18. To achieve this, regional planning bodies and local planning authorities should:
• Thoroughly assess the existing supply of land available for economic development through an employment land review. Where possible, land use reviews, such as housing and employment, should be undertaken at the same time to ensure a full assessment of competing land uses is made. Where appropriate, local authorities should carry out joint land use reviews;
• Ensure that the strategy addresses the particular needs of rural areas in terms of new economic opportunities..."

• This Planning Policy Statement has been through public consultation and although not yet in its final form, clearly remains a material consideration for the formulation of local planning policy. It is clear that government policy requires Local Planning Authorities to investigate and encourage new economic opportunities - whether or not in rural areas.

• Tourism is the biggest Industry in the world by measure of both income and scale of employment generated. In Rother, your evidence-base recognises the value of both aspects to the functioning of the District. Much of the local tourism and visitor attraction facilities are to be found in rural and coastal areas and many within smaller settlements and villages, simply because it is the natural environment that attracts visitors.

• We do not believe that the overall vision has fully addressed the requirements of PPS4 in this regard. In our view, the vision needs to identify the employment generating opportunities associated with enhancing the range, quality and choice of tourism and leisure-based activity for visitors within the District as a whole and the resort of Camber in particular.