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Newark & Sherwood Plan Review - Publication Amended Core Strategy

Tourism Development

5.24     Tourism refers to the activities of those visiting an area for leisure, business or family reasons. A healthy tourism industry within the District can help sustainable economic growth, and contribute to prosperous communities and attractive environments. As well as emphasising the management and growth of our town centres, national policy requires support to be given to sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments that benefit businesses in rural areas, communities and visitors, and which respect the character of the countryside. PPS4 requires our LDF to support sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments that benefit rural businesses, communities and visitors. Planning for tourism in rural areas should therefore utilise and enrich, rather than harm, the character of the countryside and its intrinsic beauty and qualities.

5.25     The East Midlands Regional Plan It is recognised recognises that tourism is a growth industry desirable for the economic benefits obtained, and in improving the quality of life in a local area. The Plan highlights that the Region District has two is host to both an internationally recognised attractions, one of which is in Robin Hood/Sherwood Forest as well as a wealth of other national, regional and local tourism assets., located within Newark and Sherwood District. Encouraging the exploitation of tourism development opportunities is a key objective of the Council’s Economic Development Strategy, though it important that this is realised in an appropriate manner with the potential impacts on the natural environment (including internationally and locally designated nature conservation sites) and countryside being properly considered. Increasing the proportion of visitors who stay overnight is also identified as a priority, with an improvement in the supply of tourist accommodation being sought. The East Midlands Regional Plan requires Local Authorities and their partners to identify areas of potential for tourism growth which maximise economic benefit whilst minimising adverse impact on local amenity and the environment, including particular concern to protect internationally designated nature conservation sites.

5.26     The Newark and Sherwood Green Infrastructure (GI) Strategy, highlights that with the growth envisaged for Newark and Sherwood and surrounding areas, in the context of an expanding domestic tourism market, care must be taken to protect existing resources and assets. The GI Strategy identifies four areas of tourism support centred on Sherwood Forest, Newark, Southwell and Sutton-on-Trent, with a range of measures suggested to advance this aim whilst supporting this element of the economy.

5.27     Our Vision is to ensure the District’s assets, character and attractions can be a platform to develop increasing opportunities for tourism and realise our potential. The stimulation of tourism is confirmed as a Strategic Objective for our LDF, reflecting its importance within the District Council’s Economic Development Strategy. However, we recognise the importance of ensuring that the right balance should be struck between tourism promotion and ensuring that new tourism development can be delivered in a sustainable way. The District already has several tourist themes in addition to Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest, and these reflect the diverse and contrasting nature of Newark and Sherwood and its history. These themes include the English Civil War and the National Civil War Centre; Newark’s heritage and its attractions; Minster and Church architecture; the Trent Valley; Energy (sustainable and carbon based); and recreation in attractive villages and countryside, etc. New tourist development could further complement these themes, and help the development of a year round tourist economy.

Core Policy 7

Tourism Development

Tourism and visitor-based development, including new good quality over-night accommodation, will be supported provided that:

  • Development is appropriate to the size and role of the settlement and the needs of the local community concerned, and in relation to countryside locations, is sensitive to site surroundings, including matters of landscape, nature conservation and biodiversity.
  • Development is acceptable in terms of scale, design and impact upon local character, the built and natural environment, including heritage assets, amenity and transport.
  • Attractions and facilities of a significant scale should be located within, or on the edge of town centres, or at other accessible locations within or on the edge of, the Sub-Regional Centre of Newark or the Service Centres of Clipstone, Rainworth, Ollerton & Boughton and Southwell. These locations will also be suitable for development of attractions and facilities of lesser scale. Outside of town centres, development should meet identified tourism needs.
  • Attractions and facilities will only be supported in the Principal Villages and Rural Areas where a rural location is necessary to meet identified tourism needs, it constitutes appropriate rural diversification, and can support local employment, community services and infrastructure; or the development relates to a new or existing tourist attraction that is based upon site specific heritage or natural environment characteristics, and complies with Criteria 5 to 9 of Spatial Policy 9.
  • Rural regeneration is promoted through the re-use and conversion of existing buildings in the Rural Areas for appropriate tourist related uses, provided the buildings concerned are soundly built and capable of being adapted without complete or substantial rebuilding and/or extension.
  • The extension of existing tourist accommodation is of a scale appropriate to the sites location and where the extension helps to ensure future business viability.
  • The development enhances and complements tourism attractions and themes in the District and supports the development of a year-round tourist economy.

The District Council recognises the economic benefits of sustainable tourism and visitor based development (including tourist accommodation), and will view positively proposals which help to realise the tourism potential of the District, support the meeting of identified tourism needs, complement and enhance existing attractions or that address shortfalls in existing provision, subject to:

  • Within the main-built up areas of ‘settlements central to the delivery of the spatial strategy’ the proposal being acceptable in terms of its:
    • Design and layout; and
    • Individual and/or cumulative impact on local character (including the built and natural environments), heritage assets, biodiversity, amenity, transport, infrastructure, community services and in locations adjacent to the open countryside, landscape character.
  • Within settlements within the Rural Areas, the proposal being acceptable in terms of its:
    • Design and layout; and
    • Individual and/or cumulative impact on local character (including the built and natural environments), heritage assets, biodiversity, amenity, transport, infrastructure, community services and in locations adjacent to the open countryside landscape character; and
    • Compliance with the locational requirements of Spatial Policy 3.
  • Within the open countryside the proposal representing sustainable rural tourism development which meets one or more of the following:
    • Forms part of a rural diversification scheme;
    • Supports an existing countryside attraction;
    • Has a functional need to be located in the countryside;
    • Constitutes the appropriate expansion of an existing tourism or visitor facility;
    • Supports local employment;
    • Meets an identified need not provided for through existing facilities within the main-built up areas of ‘settlements central to the delivery of the spatial strategy’, or villages covered by Spatial Policy 3 ‘Rural Areas’; or that
    • Supports rural regeneration through the appropriate re-use and conversion of existing buildings.
  • Such proposals will still however need to be acceptable in terms of their:
    • Design and layout; and
    • Individual and/or cumulative impact on local character (including the built and natural environments), heritage assets, biodiversity, amenity, transport infrastructure, community services and landscape character.
  • Within the Green Belt proposals being consistent with the definition of appropriate development provided by national Green Belt policy.