Policy TOU7 New and Extended Holiday Parks in the Countryside
A proposal for a new holiday park or and extension to an existing facility in the countryside will be permitted where it complies with Policy TOU3 All Tourism Development in the Countryside and will create a high quality and sustainable form of tourism development.
A holiday park proposal must be based on an overall design concept that respects the surrounding landscape, rural character and site context and the application must be accompanied by a layout and landscaping plan (see guidance at Appendix C) to demonstrate that these matters have been adequately addressed.
In addition all the following specific criteria must be met:
the site is located in an area that has the capacity to absorb the holiday park development, without adverse impact on visual amenity and rural character;
effective integration into the landscape must be secured primarily through the utilisation of existing natural or built features. Where appropriate, planted areas or discrete groups of trees will be required along site boundaries in order to soften the visual impact of the development and assist its integration with the surrounding area;
adequate provision (normally around 15% of the site area) is made for communal open space (including play and recreation areas and landscaped areas), as an integral part of the development;
the layout of caravan pitches/motor homes is informal and characterised by discrete groupings or clusters of units separated through the use of appropriate soft landscaping; and
the design of the development, including the design and scale of ancillary buildings and the design of other elements including internal roads, paths, car parking areas, walls and fences, is appropriate for the site and the locality, respecting the best local traditions of form, materials and detailing.
Justification and Amplification
Holiday parks contribute to the diversity of the tourist accommodation offer available within the Borough. Such parks offer potential for provision of a range of products within this particular sector, including static caravan holiday homes, holiday chalets and pitches for touring caravans, motor-homes and camping.
The scope for integrating a new holiday park, particularly a static park, or a large scale extension to an existing facility is often limited by the extent and layout of such development and by specific locational preferences such as proximity to the coastline outside of settlements. Appropriate site selection is therefore crucial in order to ensure visual integration into the landscape and to avoid detrimental impact upon environmentally sensitive sites.
The policy provisions also reflect the importance of layout and landscaping in order to achieve high quality development that integrates into the landscape and respects the surrounding rural context as well as providing a pleasant environment for users of the holiday park. These requirements help reinforce recent trends in the holiday park industry which are to a large extent driven by customer demand for improved space standards, greater privacy, generous provision for amenity open space and a pleasant landscaped environment. It is acknowledged that new holiday parks incorporating these elements may typically require somewhat larger sites than traditional high density parks. This factor makes good site selection all the more important. In this context, a high quality proposal in terms of layout and landscaping will still be refused planning permission if the site is fundamentally unsuitable.
Further guidance on site layout and landscape design is set out in Appendix C Landscape Design Consideration for Holiday Parks.