Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

9 - Tourism

Tourist Accommodation

9.1 A strategic priority of this Plan is the provision of sufficient quality tourist accommodation necessary to increase tourist spend and help to extend the tourist season.

9.2 Existing hotel provision in the district caters well for the budget hotel market and this has been increasing in recent years, but Thanet is lacking in hotels at the top end of the market. There is also a shortage of family holiday accommodation. Hotel facilities must be attractive to tourists to capitalise on the trend for shorter breaks in the UK and demand for better overall quality and service. There is increasing demand for boutique and designer hotels fuelled by more sophisticated tastes.

9.3 Other than caravan accommodation Thanet has relatively few self-catering facilities. Touring and camping is a popular choice of tourist accommodation and is an up and coming market. Thanet is currently underprovided with these types of facilities and the Council aims to take advantage of this high demand.

9.4 It is therefore important to provide for new, and to protect tourist accommodation of all types and for all budgets to attract a range of staying visitors to the area, which the following policies seek to achieve.

Policy E07 - Serviced Tourist Accommodation

The Council will permit the development of new serviced tourist accommodation, including extensions and improvements to existing accommodation, where this would be well related to existing built development and subject to the following criteria:

1) Must be of an appropriate scale that does not impact on the surrounding area, including impact upon the road network.

2) Should be in sustainable locations and accessible by a range of means of transport.

3) Outside of the urban area development should respect landscape character and nature conservation value.

4) Sufficient mitigation should be provided against any increase in recreational pressure on designated nature conservation sites.



Policy E08 - Self Catering Tourist Accommodation

Proposals for the development, diversification, upgrade or improvement of self-catering accommodation will be permitted subject to the following criteria:

1) Should be of appropriate siting, design, scale and access.

2) Should be related well to the primary and secondary road network.

3) Should be capable of being extensively landscaped such that its impact on the character of the area is minimised.



Policy E09 - Protection of Existing Tourist Accommodation

Proposals that would result in the loss of existing high quality tourist accommodation with 10 or more bedrooms will not be permitted unless it can be demonstrated that the hotel/guesthouse or self-catering accommodation is no longer viable* for such use.

* In order to demonstrate that the existing tourist accommodation is not viable, evidence will be required to show that the facility has been marketed extensively for at least a year and at a competitive price and consideration given of alternative forms of holiday accommodation. Evidence will also be required of occupancy rates for the previous 3 years, and any other relevant factors such as previous marketing or business plans, locational factors and ease of access for visitors by a range of means of transport. In assessing whether the accommodation is high quality and not viable the Council may seek the independent views of industry experts.