Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document North Somerset Issues Q6. Do you agree with these or are there other challenges or issues which we have not included and how might the Local Plan address these? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 21466497//1
Respondent FCC Environment Ltd [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 11 Jan 2019
Comment

Chapter 6 of the Issues and Options Document is in relation to employment. FCC support the statement on page 70 that "The Local Plan will provide a clear economic vision and strategy to encourage sustainable economic growth, and will recognise and plan for the requirements of different economic sectors functioning across North Somerset, particularly those considered to be key sectors with an important role within the existing and future North Somerset economy". However, it is noted that there is no reference to the rural economy within the Issues and Options Document. FCC consider this is not in accordance with the NPPF and the plan should consider the vitality and economy of rural areas needed for rural communities to boost rural economic growth. Paragraph 3.16 in the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report states that "tourism, whether day visitors or staying visitors forms a significant part of the North Somerset economy. The GVA of tourism is estimated at £375.3 million…". In addition, the Economic Impact of North Somerset’s Visitor Economy 2016 states that the number of people employed full time directly and indirectly by tourism in North Somerset is estimated as 5,032 full time equivalents.

Paragraph 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;

 

  1. c) Sustainable rural tourism and leisure developments which respect the character of the countryside…".

Paragraph 84 goes onto state that "planning policies and decisions should recognise that sites to meet local business and community needs in rural areas may have to be found adjacent to or beyond existing settlements, and in locations that are not well served by public transport…". It is considered that the Issues and Options document does not give sufficient regard to this important sector and is therefore not in accordance with the NPPF. The plan should present issues and options in relation to this "significant part of the North Somerset economy" and consider ways in which the rural economy and tourism can be enhanced and supported.

Page 70 goes on to state that "policies to guide business development and the allocation of land will seek to maximise opportunities to support growth in sectors including financial and professional, high vale manufacturing and design, food and drink, digital technology, media and telecoms and cultural and creative industries". FCC consider that tourism should be added to this list of sectors.

It is noted that there is no reference to tourism within the Issues and Options Document, apart from in relation to transporting tourists. FCC consider this is not in accordance with the NPPF which advocates that a proactive approach should be taken within policies and decision making and thus the New Local Plan should include tourism policies that actively support and encourage this form of development. The plan should consider the vitality and economy of rural areas including tourism developments needed for rural communities to boost rural economic growth.

Summary
No reference to the rural economy or tourism within the Issues and Options Document, consider that this is not in accordance with the NPPF. New local plan needs tourism policy.
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