Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Potential new policy areas Q50. Do you have any views on the conversion of holiday accommodation to residential use in the countryside? What approach should future policies take? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 21425377//10
Respondent The Belmont Estate [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 10 Dec 2018
Comment

It is the Estates consideration that proposals for new visitor accommodation in the countryside should be supported in the new Local Plan in line with para 83 of the NPPF which states that planning policies and decisions should enable:
a) the sustainable growth and expansion of all types of business in rural areas, both through conversion of existing buildings and well-designed new buildings;
b) the development and diversification of agricultural and other land-based rural businesses;
c) sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments which respect the character of the countryside; and
d) the retention and development of accessible local services and community facilities, such as local shops, meeting places, sports venues, open space, cultural buildings, public houses and places of worship.

The Estate is keen to expand as a rural business and tourist offering to enable the enjoyment of its heritage assets for existing and future generations. At present, planning policy is somewhat restrictive of new development under Policy DM57 which takes a less pragmatic approach to new development than the NPPF. The Estate therefore welcomes the opportunity for a full review of this policy to ensure it is suitably flexible and line with the provisions of the NPPF. We would like to discuss this further with Officers as we feel there is an important opportunity to enhance the rural business and tourism offer available at the Estate which will assist in the ongoing maintenance of the Estate and its numerous heritage assets.

Summary and Conclusion
Overall, the Estate would like to reiterate its concerns regarding the strategic development locations at Nailsea and Backwell and its associated highway infrastructure requirements. We remain concerned that the development is likely to have a significant and detrimental impact on designated heritage assets and their settings, particularly for the Belmont Estate. We consider that there are more sustainable options available, such as the Vale to meet housing needs without the requirement for such significant new infrastructure.

At the same time, the Estate would also like to ensure that policy provision is more flexible moving forward and supports a prosperous rural economy in line with the provisions of the NPPF. It is important that policies of the Local Plan enable the Estate to open its doors to the public for proposals that are synonymous with its countryside location as set out earlier in this letter. Presently Policy DM57 is more restrictive of such proposals but more flexibility will help enable the maintenance and viability of the heritage assets at the Estate for future generations and will also assist in maintaining a prosperous rural economy.

Summary
The Estate is keen to expand as a rural business and tourist offering to enable the enjoyment of its heritage assets for existing and future generations. At present, planning policy is somewhat restrictive of new development under Policy DM57 which takes a less pragmatic approach to new development than the NPPF. The Estate therefore welcomes the opportunity for a full review of this policy to ensure it is suitably flexible and line with the provisions of the NPPF.
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