Waveney Local Plan

New Self Catering Tourist Accommodation

8.74 Self catering tourist accommodation plays a vital role in Waveney's tourism sector. There is a broad spectrum of accommodation available including camp sites, chalets, log cabins, caravan sites and glamping sites, in different sizes and in varying locations. This creates a richness and diversity of choice for places to stay which can serve a great variety of visitors.

8.75 It is desirable to provide a diverse range of accommodation, including in rural areas. Policy WLP8.15 therefore allows for a flexible approach for small sites of up to 10 units to be applied. These smaller sites can be accommodated anywhere in the rural area subject to compliance with other policies of the Local Plan. Sites larger than this will require better transport links and facilities. Therefore medium sized self catering accommodation sites of between 11 and 79 units will also need to provide good access to the A or B road network and public transport.

8.76 In the interests of sustainable travel, larger developments of 80 units and above must be located in or close to Lowestoft, one of the market towns, or one of the coastal resorts of Corton, Kessingland or Southwold. They will need to demonstrate good connectivity with other tourist destinations and amenities, particularly by public transport, walking and cycling. A Transport Assessment must be provided for sites of this scale. Large developments should also provide on site commercial, recreational or entertainment facilities to serve day to day needs of tourists.

8.77 Tourist accommodation can sometimes come under pressure to be occupied for full time residential use. New tourism accommodation should therefore be restricted so that it is retained for the benefit of the tourism economy in the District and not lost to residential use. Permanent buildings for tourism accommodation can be subject to acute pressure for residential use. Therefore, tourist accommodation comprising permanent buildings will only be permitted within Settlement Boundaries as defined by Policy WLP1.3, through conversions of existing rural buildings or on larger scale schemes where on-site facilities are provided such as a restaurant, shop or club house.

8.78 Planning conditions and/or legal agreements can be used to apply restrictions to new development. Enforcing against breaches of holiday occupancy conditions can be extremely challenging and it is preferable to prevent breaches occurring in the first instance. It is therefore important to set out precise and enforceable conditions or legal agreements which discourage residential use and which can be effectively enforced. As such, planning conditions or legal agreements should require new self catering tourist accommodation units to be vacated for a specified and continuous period of at least six weeks of the calendar year. In order to facilitate year round holiday use, the Local Planning Authority will allow proposals to vacate half the site at one time, and the rest of the site later that year.

8.79 The valuable character of the Waveney landscape is one of the assets which helps support the local tourism industry. It is therefore important that tourism development does not harm this asset on which it depends. Policy WLP8.33 and National Planning Policy Framework will be used to assess the impact of tourism development in the landscape. The National Planning Policy Framework places strong protection on national designations such as the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Heritage Coast. The Framework states that planning permission should be refused for major developments in these areas except in exceptional circumstances. 

Policy WLP8.15 - New Self Catering Tourist Accommodation

Small scale (10 pitches/units or fewer) self catering tourist accommodation developments will be supported in principle across the District. Medium sized sites (11-79 pitches/units) will require good access to A or B roads and public transport. Covered cycle storage appropriate to the size of the site must be provided on site. Large sites (80+ pitches/units) will be supported where:

  • They are in or close to Lowestoft, the market towns, or the coastal resort towns of the District;
  • A Transport Assessment has been submitted demonstrating no significant impacts on the highway network;
  • Safe and convenient access to public transport and local services and amenities are provided;
  • Covered cycle storage appropriate to the size of the site is provided on site; and
  • Commercial, recreational or entertainment facilities are provided on site.

Self catering tourist accommodation comprising permanent buildings will only be permitted within the Settlement Boundaries defined by Policy WLP1.3, through the conversion of rural buildings or on large scale sites where commercial, recreational or entertainment facilities are provided on site.

New self catering tourist accommodation will be restricted by means of planning conditions or a legal agreement which permits holiday use only and restricts the period the accommodation can be occupied.