Policy RUR 8: Visitor accommodation outside of settlement boundaries
- Under LPS Policy PG 6 'Open countryside', development that is essential for uses appropriate to a rural area will be permitted in the open countryside. Certain types of visitor accommodation may be appropriate to a rural area where their scale is appropriate to the location and setting and where there is an identified need for the accommodation, which cannot be met in nearby settlements because the type of accommodation proposed is intrinsically linked with the countryside.
- In the open countryside, proposals for visitor accommodation that are demonstrated to be appropriate to a rural area under Criterion 1 will be supported where they accord with other policies in the development plan and:
- the proposals make the best use of existing infrastructure such as existing buildings, utilities, parking and vehicular access;
- additional buildings, structures and ancillary development are restricted to the minimum level reasonably required for the existing or planned operation of the accommodation; are well-related to each other and existing buildings and do not form isolated or scattered development;
- the proposal does not unacceptably affect the amenity and character of the surrounding area or landscape (including visual impacts, noise, odour, design and appearance) either on its own or cumulatively with other developments; and
- appropriate landscaping and screening is provided.
- Where visitor accommodation is permitted in the open countryside that would be physically capable of forming a habitable dwelling, the council will impose planning conditions and/or legal obligations to restrict occupancy of the accommodation to prevent unauthorised permanent occupation. This includes (but is not limited to) hotels, guest houses, static caravans, chalets, cabins and pods.
- In the Green Belt, LPS Policy PG 3 ‘Green Belt’ will also apply and the relevant paragraphs of the NPPF will be a material consideration.
6.32 LPS Policy EG 4 ‘Tourism’ seeks to support tourism development but, where outside of principal towns, key service centres and local service centres, there must be evidence that the facilities are required in conjunction with a particular countryside location.
6.33 LPS Policy PG 6 ‘Open countryside' allows for development that is essential for uses appropriate to a rural area in the open countryside. Only those types of visitor accommodation whose scale is appropriate to the location and setting; and that specifically require a countryside location are considered to be appropriate to a rural area.
6.34 Outside of the exceptions listed in LPS Policy PG 6, proposals for new housing in the open countryside will not be supported. To make sure that visitor accommodation remains in use as visitor accommodation and is not illegitimately used as a dwelling, it is likely to be necessary to limit occupation so that it cannot be used year-round.
6.35 The policy applies to all development proposals for visitor accommodation where there is some form of static accommodation (whether temporary or permanent in nature) including new build, extension, conversion or the material change of use of land. Visitor accommodation includes, but is not restricted to; hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast accommodation, static caravans, chalets, cabins and other forms of static accommodation such as pods, yurts, tepees or glamping structures). It does not apply to proposals where visitors bring their own accommodation, such as touring caravan and camping sites.
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