• Planning Applications for tourism and leisure development (for example a new hotel or guesthouse or leisure facilities such as cinemas, museums and galleries) are considered by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for the area in which the development is to take place – i.e. the local District or Borough Council. When considering such applications the LPA must decide whether or not to grant planning permission based upon local and national planning policies and other material considerations.

    National policy is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This is the government’s high level policy for the whole of England. It contains a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Being a “high level” document is does not say much about tourism and leisure development specifically. Whilst national policy generally favours placing such uses in town centres it also encourages LPA’s to have policies which support a strong rural economy.

    Local policies (produced by LPA’s) should be in conformity with national policy and will go into greater detail about what types of development are appropriate in which locations. Local policies may or may not be supportive of development depending upon local considerations, such as the impact on the area, the need for such facilities and the employment benefits. Other issues come into play – such as whether the site is in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) or the Green Belt.

    Whilst pre-application advice can be obtained from the LPA though this is not binding. If a development is ok in principle then a scheme will need to be draw up which addresses any policy concerns.

    This content is correct at time of publication

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