East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy

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View Comments (9) (9) 5. Sustainable Economic Development

Introduction

5.1 Economic development has a key role to play in the achievement of sustainable development. There is a need to create a balanced sustainable economy in towns, villages and the countryside. The vision indicates that people in East Hampshire will have good access to a range of jobs and will live and work in a way that respects resources and protects and enhances the District’s natural environment.

5.2 The economic character of the District is similar to the rest of Hampshire and the South East region. However, local economic activity operates within a rural setting of high environmental quality, a large part of which is within the South Downs National Park. Within the National Park, there is a need to nurture businesses that contribute directly and indirectly to the two purposes of the National Park designation and satisfy the duty to foster the social and economic well-being of communities within it14.

5.3 A key part of the Council’s strategy for economic development is the regeneration of Whitehill Bordon, following the loss of 2,500 jobs and spending power when the military vacate the town. The aim is to build a new sustainable mixed economy, by providing some 5,500 new jobs through the provision of new industrial and business premises and a new town centre (see Chapter 9 for details). The potential for developing an education and learning centre at Whitehill Bordon is also identified. The Council will seek to ensure that the provision of economic development elsewhere in the District does not detract from the viability of economic development provision in Whitehill Bordon.

5.4 There is an equal challenge for individual businesses throughout the District to improve their sustainability, reduce their carbon footprint and lessen their impact on the environment e.g. by reducing car travel through car sharing, home working, use of local services and suppliers, purchasing local foods, conserving energy, minimising waste and reducing water consumption.

5.5 In spite of the issues and challenges raised above (see also Chapter 2 Paragraph 2.5), the District has achieved economic success in an area of high environmental quality (held in high regard by businesses and residents).There are also opportunities for the District to build and capitalise on its strengths, in particular through the scale of new jobs predicted at the Whitehill Bordon Eco-town and the importance of the Eco-town ‘brand’ and through the South Downs National Park, which will boost the tourism sector.

5.6 The strategy for achieving sustainable economic development is to:

  • create a local framework for business success and investment, to include: employment land provision, premises, electronic communications infrastructure, efficient transport and skills;

  • optimise the economic opportunities presented by the regeneration of Whitehill Bordon and ensure that economic development elsewhere in the District does not adversely impact on the viability of the Whitehill Bordon development;

  • build upon the clusters of high quality advanced manufacturing and service industry (namely smaller firms in precision engineering, electronics, business services and software) and realise the full potential of opportunities available through the emerging low carbon economy;

  • ensure the economic impact is taken into consideration when dealing with development proposals;

  • sustain and enhance retail provision in the District’s centres;

  • ensure that the market towns remain important employment centres;

  • ensure that villages with settlement policy boundaries contribute to local economic success, especially in support of the rural economy;

  • sustain and enhance tourism provision;

  • nurture businesses within the South Downs National Park that contribute directly and indirectly to the achievement of National Park purposes and provide services for local people and visitors;

  • encourage home working; and

  • promote sustainable business practices amongst the businesses of the District, especially a reduction in car, energy and resource use.

5.7 The Council has commissioned a number of studies which have helped to determine its approach to economic development, including a Skills Audit15 and research study into the employment needs and floorspace requirements for East Hampshire16. It also conducted a business survey, consulted the business community during the Core Strategy Preferred Policies and held interviews with major employers in the District. All of this provides a broad picture of the current local economy and a good understanding of local employment needs of residents and businesses.

5.8 These findings and recommendations from the research provided a basis for the policies. A co-ordinated economic approach combines sites and premises issues with the wider economic development activity in order to address the employment needs of residents and businesses. The employment needs of businesses include workforce skills and availability of employment sites.

Employment land17

View Comments (24) (24) CP2 NEW EMPLOYMENT PROVISION

The Policy for employment provision and distribution in the District is to provide new employment floorspace in the main settlements in the District as follows:

  1. 18.4 ha of land for employment use in Whitehill Bordon (see Policy CSWB2 for details).

  2. At least 4ha of employment land in Alton, preferably including the provision of managed workspace (enterprise centre).

  3. Up to 2ha of employment land in Petersfield, preferably including the provision of managed workspace (enterprise centre).

  4. Up to 1.5ha of land in Horndean for industrial (B2) and business use (B1).

5.9 Planning needs to respond to market conditions and also protect and maintain a good supply of appropriate sites and premises for all kinds of businesses in order to encourage economic growth. The failure to provide suitable employment land (in terms of quality and quantity) to meet business requirements could:

  • lead to the relocation of businesses resulting in loss of jobs;

  • limit business growth and development and as a result, have a negative impact on job creation and retention; and

  • deter inward investment and risk East Hampshire becoming a dormitory area.

5.10 The South East Plan does not set out specific targets for employment land provision for Hampshire, other than for the South Hampshire sub-region. The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire (PUSH) has published a report18 apportioning the South East Plan’s requirements for the sub-region.

5.11 The Employment Floorspace Needs Study looks at floorspace requirements for the District outside of the PUSH area. It included a survey of existing local plan allocated sites. It noted that the majority of these were either completed or under phased construction. It made specific recommendations with respect to the other local plan sites:

  • Former Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital site, Alton: the site should be de-allocated.

  • Builders Merchants site, Rowlands Castle: the site should be de-allocated.

5.12 The study forecast future requirements for employment floorspace through to 2026, these indicated that the need for additional floorspace for industrial and office uses up to 2026 would be minimal.

5.13 A key part of the Council’s strategy for economic development is the regeneration of Whitehill Bordon. The aim is to build a new sustainable mixed economy, by providing some 5,500 new jobs through the provision of new industrial and business premises and a new town centre (see Chapter 9 for details). The Employment Floorspace Needs Study did recognise that if large scale development takes place at Whitehill Bordon, then additional floorspace would be required to meet this growth. It concluded that logically much of this would be ideally located in the Whitehill Bordon growth area, where it is Council policy to create a sustainable community. The Council and National Park Authority will seek to ensure, therefore, that the provision of employment development in Alton, Petersfield and elsewhere in the District does not detract from the viability of employment development provision in Whitehill Bordon.

5.14 Although little requirement for additional floorspace was identified, the study recognised that these forecasts refer to net change and there will still be a need for new completions to meet the modern requirements of specific businesses, with older floorspace going out of use (i.e. a higher gross level of new floorspace). The provision of additional land would also promote choice and flexibility. The study recognised the need to ensure that there was sufficient scope to maintain the economic role of Alton and Petersfield. This will be based upon the regeneration of existing employment sites and sufficient new land allocations to provide flexibility and choice for business.

5.15 The study recommended carrying forward some of the existing Local Plan allocations. Of those, only Buckmore Farm, Petersfield has not been granted planning permission. In addition the study concluded that there was a case for identifying new sites of up to two hectares (approximately 7,000 sq.m of floorspace) in each of Alton and Petersfield that could be brought forward for future employment use.

5.16 Business enquiries and feedback from interviews with major employers show that several businesses need to expand and others want to relocate into, or set up in, East Hampshire, especially in Alton and Petersfield. The business community, therefore, views the lack of suitable employment sites as a barrier to business growth and development.

5.17 Past completion rates of employment floorspace across East Hampshire indicate a relatively high take up of new provision. A high proportion of previously outstanding floorspace commitments have now been occupied. The majority of the current floorspace commitments are in the rural parts of East Hampshire, mainly due to permissions for the re-use of rural buildings.

5.18 The more recent evidence set out above indicates that additional employment floorspace is particularly required in Alton above the 2 hectares set out in the Employment Floorspace Needs Study. Provision up to 2026 in Alton should be at least 4 hectares. The situation in Alton will be monitored in respect of the local market need for additional land for employment purposes.

5.19 The provision of 2 hectares of new employment floorspace in Petersfield, as recommended in the Employment Floorspace Needs Study, will enable the town to maintain its current economic role. The new land allocations and the regeneration of existing employment sites will provide flexibility and choice for business while respecting the town’s location within the South Downs National Park and having regard to its statutory purposes19. The new employment land allocations will be made in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan for Petersfield.

5.20 The Employment Floorspace Needs Study also identified a likely increased demand for small enterprise centres as there was a noticeable lack of such facilities in the District. It was considered preferable that such centres be developed on well located, existing employment sites. It would seem logical, therefore, to concentrate resources for these in the larger employment centres at Petersfield and Alton provided environmental constraints are taken into account.

5.21 In addition to the above requirements the Council will have to find sites to accommodate South Hampshire’s remaining floorspace requirements of around 3,000m² and 1,000m² of B1 and B2 development, respectively.

5.22 These employment requirements (of around 1.5 hectares) should be met mainly in Horndean where there is particular need for starter units. This follows the preferred spatial strategy for South Hampshire.

5.23 Employment land supply tables for both Central and South areas are contained at Appendix 4.

View Comments (10) (10) CP3 EXISTING EMPLOYMENT LAND

The use of employment land for alternative uses will be permitted where the site can be shown to be no longer fit for purpose and the alternative use is in conformity and consistent with other policies and strategies of the Joint Core Strategy.

5.24 The Government’s white paper (Local Growth – Realising every place’s potential, 2010) identified one of the roles of local authorities as supporting growth and development through ensuring a responsive supply of land that supports business growth.

5.25 Major employers identified infrastructure as key to business growth and development. There is, therefore, a need to maintain a good supply of appropriate sites and premises for all kinds of businesses (both in the short term and long term) in order to encourage economic growth.

5.26 The Employment Needs Study20 surveyed existing employment sites and concluded that some loss of poorer quality sites should be considered to reflect the forecast decline in demand for this type of space. The study states that there would appear to be no need to change the use of the well located and better quality sites especially where they form part of a larger cluster of employment land. They should be recognised and supported, particularly those areas in Alton and Petersfield.

5.27 Additionally, there was a need for a reasonable geographical spread of employment sites so that local needs can be met. A variety of sites offers choice to businesses depending on their needs e.g. small size and low priced premises for start-up businesses. The study recommends encouraging improvement through investment.

5.28 The Joint Core Strategy has provided for the future requirements of different land uses, including for example, employment, housing, retail and community use. The retention of existing employment sites that are well located and otherwise well suited to employment use is an integral part of the economic strategy. The retention of these sites will, therefore, continue to support both the economic and spatial objectives of the Joint Core Strategy in towns, villages and the countryside. Alternative uses on employment land should only be considered where justified. Details setting out the requirements necessary to show a site is no longer fit for purpose will be included in the Allocations and Development Control DPD or future SPD. It is also important that existing sites are renovated or redeveloped for employment use to ensure that an adequate supply of modern business premises is available.

Workforce skills

5.29 The Sustainable Community Strategy identifies the need to increase the level of skills in the local workforce. The business community also recognises that improving access to training and the development of business skills are drivers for achieving a prosperous economy. Skill levels are, therefore, an important factor if productivity is to be raised without undue impact on sustainability.

5.30 The Skills Audit identified a number of strengths in the local workforce, including that, overall, education attainment across the District is strong. However, it acknowledged that these strengths are set against a number of underlying weaknesses including, the need to travel for vocational education and training and pockets where skills attainment is low, in particular Whitehill Bordon.

5.31 These weaknesses have lead to issues and challenges in recruitment, in particular, lack of basic or the right skills and quantity and quality of workforce. The recommendations of the Skills Audit identify how the policy will narrow the skills gap and enable the workforce to become more employable locally. It recommended a number of initiatives to improve the provision of education and training and to improve access to such provision.

5.32 In addition to the initiatives in the action plan, the study proposes a multi-faceted education and learning centre, linked to a business park and bringing together, schools, vocational training and higher education. There is potential to deliver these facilities by taking advantage of the opportunities arising from future development at Whitehill Bordon (see chapter 9).

5.33 The Council and National Park Authority will work with the relevant stakeholders (Education Authority, local colleges, business organisations and businesses) to provide relevant training facilities to improve workforce skills and address barriers to employment for economically inactive people. Where appropriate planning obligations will be sought on development proposals to promote workforce skills and employability. Further details will be included in a future Supplementary Planning Document.

Where else to look?

East Hampshire Employment Floorspace Needs Study 2008 makes an assessment of current needs and includes a survey of existing employment site commitments.

East Hampshire Skills Audit, June 2010 assesses current and future needs and creates a skills and employability action plan for the area.

Rural enterprise

View Comments (14) (14) CP4 RURAL ECONOMY AND ENTERPRISE

Development will be permitted:

  1. For farm diversification schemes and enterprises that help maintain the viability of farm businesses engaged in sustainable land management, including:

    • local food processing;

    • countryside pursuits;

    • farm shops selling local produce;

    • tourism facilities;

    • equine enterprises and

    • green technologies.

  2. For the conversion of rural buildings for appropriate uses, including:

    • affordable housing;

    • commercial use;

    • tourism facilities and accommodation;

    • community use;

    • general residential use, where appropriate and where assessment shows that the use for the above purposes is not possible or is unsuited.

  3. For the reasonable extension of existing firms in the countryside and new small-scale employment uses within the settlement policy boundaries of rural settlements.

  4. Within the South Downs National Park, for businesses that contribute to conserving and enhancing its natural beauty, promote opportunities for the understanding and the enjoyment of its qualities, improving the viability of traditional rural businesses, and/or providing local services for local people.

Provided that they do not harm the character of the site or its surroundings or do not adversely affect natural beauty, wildlife, cultural heritage and opportunities for recreation.

In the countryside and the settlement policy boundaries of rural settlements proposals that involve the loss of existing services and facilities (e.g. shops, post offices, pubs, community facilities and other small business premises) will not be permitted.

5.34 The rural economy and enterprise strategy is to retain and enhance both established and new businesses and rural enterprises subject to their being consistent in scale and environmental impact with their location. As a part of this strategy priority will also be given to:

  • working with others to retain, develop and promote rural enterprise, in particular that associated with agriculture, horticulture and forestry infrastructure that can support local products and local markets;

  • developing markets for sustainably produced local, land-based products, including local foods sold through local outlets, and wood products;

  • developing initiatives that help nurture markets and business enterprise in rural skills including traditional building skills; and

  • promoting understanding by the local community of the needs of rural enterprise; and

  • enabling residential development essential to maintain a rural workforce, including agricultural workers’ dwellings and rural affordable housing where there is an established local need (see Chapter 5 Housing).

5.35 Business and enterprise in the rural parts of East Hampshire make an important contribution to the overall economic success of the District and contribute to the sustainability of the environment that is so highly valued by residents and visitors. This economic activity falls into several linked components, including farming and forestry, tourism, rural and village businesses (many located in redundant agricultural buildings) and

an infrastructure of community services and affordable housing.

5.36 85% of East Hampshire is open countryside. 57% is within the South Downs National Park. Agriculture and other land-based activities employ about 2% of the local workforce and directly affect the character of the District. The challenge is to ensure that rural enterprise can prosper to the benefit of the countryside. Rural villages have also been losing facilities and businesses, such as local shops and post offices.

5.37 Within the South Downs National Park, there is a recognised need to encourage a sustainable economy that is linked either directly or indirectly to the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage and/or to the promotion of opportunities for the quiet enjoyment of the National Park21. The challenge is to achieve the two purposes for the National Park while fostering the social and economic well-being of the local communities.

There is in many cases a lack of understanding of the needs of rural enterprise. A District Council organised farming workshop held in 2009 identified a number of issues facing the farming community. The key issues for the Joint Core Strategy were:

  • the non-farming community do not understand the needs of farming;

  • accessibility and highway issues are often used against diversification proposals;

  • more flexibility is required when considering diversification proposals (particularly in terms of appropriate uses and new development);

  • the lack of affordable rural housing and difficulties for young people/farm workers in finding suitable accommodation; and

  • equestrian uses are often contentious but offer diversification opportunities.

5.39 According to the Rural Coalition22, creating and maintaining sustainable rural economies is critical to supporting the sustainable and vibrant rural communities. It adds that there is a need for a more balanced approach to achieving social, economic and environmental well-being in rural communities.

5.40 With changes in agricultural policy, farmers are increasingly looking to diversify into other activities than purely agriculture. Examples of diversification include the processing of farm produce, farmshops and tourist accommodation.

5.41 Evidence from rural-based businesses, property agents and developers support the view that for many rural businesses, growth is regarded as being stunted by a lack of appropriate premises and extremely limited scope for expanding or modernising existing premises. Businesses would like to have more scope to convert disused or redundant farm buildings into offices and light industrial to provide low cost premises or offices for start-up businesses (incubation centre). This would provide extra income for the rural business and at the same time cater for new businesses that can’t afford expensive rent elsewhere.

5.42 Where conversion is appropriate, consideration should be given to commercial or community re-use or, where appropriate and where assessments show that the use for other purposes is not possible or is not suitable, to residential conversion.

5.43 However, there will need to be a particularly sensitive approach in the South Downs National Park to strike the right balance between maintaining its beauty, facilitating its enjoyment while sustaining local communities and businesses. Within the National Park the main purpose is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area. Should conflict emerge between public enjoyment and conservation, the Sandford Principle23 will apply.

5.44 Further work will be carried out on the issues arising from the provision of employment floorspace in rural areas and the results will be used to prepare more detailed policies for inclusion in development plan documents to follow.

Where else to look?

South Downs Management Plan 2008-2013, published in 2008, sets out 10 Ambitions that support the Vision and Aims of the Plan. Each Ambition has measurable targets and specific policies. www.southdowns.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/123294/SD_Mgt_Plan_Intro_part_A.pdf

Rural Coalition’s The Rural Challenge, Achieving sustainable rural communities for the 21st century (2010) presents a shared policy agenda for rural communities, and its overriding objective is to help achieve a positive, lasting legacy of sustainable rural communities www.lga.gov.uk/lga/aio/13131403

Town centres and retail

View Comments (4) (4) CP5 NEW RETAIL PROVISION

Provision will be made for a limited amount of additional retail (comparison) floorspace in the town centres of Alton and Petersfield. There is scope for 30,000 square metres (gross) floorspace in a new town centre at Whitehill Bordon (for more details see Policy CSWB3). Small scale retail development opportunities will be allowed for in the other centres.

5.45 The District currently has two main centres, Alton and Petersfield and a number of smaller centres at Whitehill Bordon (see chapter 9), Liphook, Grayshott, Horndean, Clanfield, Liss and Four Marks. These centres have different roles depending on their size, but they all play an important part in the life of their communities. The challenge will be to protect and enhance these centres, many of which have a historic core, in a changing retail and leisure market.

5.46 The retail study24 analysed the potential for new retail development in the District. It indicated limited potential for convenience goods sales floorspace within the District up to 2026. Expenditure available in the District at 2026 could support about 3,000 sq m net (4,200 sq m gross) of new foodstore floorspace.

5.47 A significant amount of money spent on comparison goods (clothes, shoes etc) is spent outside the District. Capacity projections suggest there is scope in the District for development of about 14,000 sq m net (18,600 sq m gross) of these types of shop up to 2026.

5.48 Alton and Petersfield have a reasonable range and quality of comparison shopping. In Alton, the study identified a need for 1,070 sq m net (1,530 sq m gross) of convenience space and 4,400 sq m net (5,850 sq m gross) comparison space by 2026. Permissions for three new foodstores (Tesco, Mill Lane, 6,100 square metres gross, May 2011; Waitrose, Station Road, 3,151 square metres gross, April 2011; Aldi, Turk street 1,564 square metres gross, July 2009) will more than meet this convenience shortfall. In Petersfield, the study identified a need for 960 sq m net (1,370 sq m gross) convenience space and 6,900 sq m net (9,200 sq m gross) comparison space by 2026. An extension of 2,383 square metres gross floorspace was permitted in June 2008 to the Tesco foodstore at The Causeway, Petersfield

5.49 In view of the historic quality of both of the town centres of Alton and Petersfield and the latter’s location within the South Downs National Park, it is likely that only a relatively small proportion of the potential additional comparison floorspace, based on the anticipated expenditure available, will be realised. If land can be assembled, opportunities will be supported that bring forward additional retail floorspace within the environmental constraints of these historic centres. Any new retail allocations for Petersfield will be made in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.

5.50 The major new retail development proposed in Whitehill Bordon (see Policy CSWB3) will absorb some of the retail expenditure predicted to be available in the District through to 2026. This will reduce the retail floorspace projections for Alton and Petersfield and other centres. Provision of retail floorspace in Alton and Petersfield should not detract from the economic viability of the proposed new town centre and retail provision in Whitehill Bordon.

5.51 Government guidance is that retail needs surveys should be undertaken on a regular basis as future expenditure patterns are difficult to predict. These surveys will be commissioned at appropriate times during the plan period.

View Comments (5) (5) CP6 TOWN AND VILLAGE FACILITIES AND SERVICES

The vitality and viability of the District’s centres will be maintained and improved according to the role of the various centres set out in the hierarchy of centres set out below:

  • Town centres - Alton, Petersfield and Whitehill Bordon

  • District centre - Liphook

  • Local centres - Clanfield, Four Marks, Grayshott, Horndean, Liss and Forest Centre, Whitehill Bordon

  • Local parades and small local centres

Proposals for new retail, leisure, entertainment and cultural facilities in the centres set out above will be permitted provided that the proposal:

  1. sustains and enhances the range and quality of provision, and the vitality and viability of the centre;

  2. is in keeping with the scale and character of the centre;

  3. would not harm the function of the centre, particularly its shopping function; and

  4. is readily accessible by bicycle and on foot.

5.52 The District’s centres are an important focus for residents and visitors alike. They provide not only shopping facilities but many other services, such as finance, leisure, community and business support.

5.53 The function of the individual centres will be dependant upon their role in the hierarchy of centres above. The function of individual centres will be as follows:

  • Alton and Petersfield will retain their current roles as Town Centres and should be maintained and enhanced. They are, and should continue to function as the main comparison shopping centres and main destination for leisure, entertainment and cultural activities. They should act as principal centres in the District.

  • Whitehill Bordon – land is allocated for a new town centre. The town centre will have the same role and function in the hierarchy as Alton and Petersfield (see Policy CSWB3 for details)

  • Liphook should be designated as a District Centre. It should complement town centres by providing for main and bulk convenience food shopping and a reasonable range of comparison shopping and other services. Its role should be sustained to ensure it provides an appropriate range of facilities and services.

  • The Local Centres at Clanfield, Four Marks, Grayshott, Horndean, Liss and Forest Centre, Whitehill Bordon should be sustained to ensure they provide basic food and grocery shopping, supported by a choice and range of comparison shops selling lower order comparison goods and a range of non-retail services and community uses. Opportunities for small scale (infill) development to provide additional shop premises may be appropriate in these centres, other than at the Forest Centre.

  • Local parades and small local centres should continue to be maintained and protected, to ensure all residents have access to a basic range of small shops and services. Core facilities should include convenience stores, post office, newsagent and pharmacy.

5.54 The Council’s retail study25 identifies how the role of these different towns and villages will contribute to the overall vision for the area. These continue as in the existing Local Plan other than Liphook being re-designated as a District centre (from a local centre).

5.55 The Forest Centre, Whitehill Bordon was designated as a District centre and High Street/Chalet Hill, Whitehill Bordon as a local centre. The development of the new town centre will include High Street/Chalet Hill and will also mean that the Forest Centre will take on a lesser role in the hierarchy (see Chapter 9).

Where else to look?
East Hampshire Town Centres, Retail and Leisure Study, 2007

Tourism

View Comments (8) (8) CP7 TOURISM

New development will be permitted:

  1. for new tourism facilities, visitor attractions and visitor accommodation

    1. in towns and villages; and

    2. in the countryside only through the re-use of suitable rural buildings or as part of farm or rural business diversification, particularly where these would also benefit local communities and support the local economy; and

  2. where it retains and enhances existing tourism facilities, visitor attractions and visitor accommodation.

Within the South Downs National Park tourism developments will only be permitted where it supports the achievement of National Park purposes and duty1.

1 See paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8

5.56 East Hampshire is an attractive place for visitors with beautiful countryside, attractive market towns and villages and a number of facilities aimed at tourists. With the designation of 57% of the District as a National Park, more visitors may come to the area.

5.57 Tourism is an important part of the local economy. It is estimated that tourism in the District has a turnover of over £150 million26 a year making it an important part of the local economy. As well as spending money at tourist attractions and on accommodation, visitors use other businesses such as shops, restaurants and pubs. The provision of the appropriate facilities will benefit residents as well as visitors.

5.58 But it is also important to realise that too many visitors may change the character of the area. Too many tourists could lead to overcrowding in some popular locations, more traffic and a degrading of the landscape. The challenge will be to maintain and enhance the role of tourism in the District, whilst managing its impact in a sustainable manner.

5.59 The strategy for tourism in East Hampshire is therefore:

  • to encourage staying visitors who will contribute to the local economy through the development, protection and enhancement of the area’s present assets, rather than the introduction of major new activities or the large-scale expansion of existing facilities.

  • adopting measures within the District which would relieve tourist pressures on the most sensitive areas of the South Downs National Park or which would protect and enhance vulnerable habitats and landscapes. This will include encouraging appropriate tourist developments in the parts of the District outside the National Park.

  • adopting measures within the District which would relieve tourist pressures on the international wildlife sites.

5.60 The location of tourism facilities should be on the most sustainable sites. These are identified in the spatial strategy as the main towns. However, there must be the flexibility outside the main towns to enable appropriate development that will benefit the rural economy and communities, particularly where the business is viewed as a community asset (see Policy CP4). An example would be where developing visitor accommodation in a rural pub would safeguard the viability of the business for the benefit of the local community.

5.61 In the countryside any tourism development should be small scale and reflect the sensitivity of the location. Within the National Park it must conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area and, should conflict emerge between recreational tourism and conservation, the Sandford Principle27 will apply.


14 See paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8 15 East Hampshire Skills Audit, June 2010: 16 Employment Floorspace Needs Study, 2008: 17 In the context of this topic area, employment land and allocations are considered to consist mainly of those sectors covered by the use classes, B1 (business), B2 (general industrial) and B8 (storage and distribution). 18 Policy Framework for Employment Floorspace. Partnership for Urban South Hampshire. December 2008 19 See paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8 20 Employment floorspace needs study, 2008 21 South Downs Management Plan: www.southdowns.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/123294/SD_Mgt_Plan_Intro_part_A.pdf 22 Rural Coalition’s The Rural Challenge, Achieving sustainable rural communities, 2010:
www.lga.gov.uk/lga/aio/13131403 23 Sandford Principle - “Where irreconcilable conflicts exist between conservation and public enjoyment, then conservation interest should take priority” 24 East Hampshire Town Centres, Retail and Leisure Study, 2007 25 East Hampshire Town Centres, Retail and Leisure Study, 2007 26 Tourism Economic Impact Assessment, Tourism South East, 2008 27 Sandford Principle - “Where irreconcilable conflicts exist between conservation and public enjoyment, then conservation interest should take priority”
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