Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036

Comment ID /4359
Document Section Draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036 Economic Development (Key Questions) Strategic Policy 11 - Tourism Facilities and Visitor Accommodation Strategic Policy 11 - Tourism Facilities and Visitor Accommodation View all on this section
Respondent Mr Elliott Fielding View all by this respondent
Response Date 30 Mar 2020
What is the nature of this comment?
  • Support
Summary
I support Policy 11 but to strengthen the supporting text, HDC must add known new tourist attractions e.g. Leonardslee Gardens & the High Weald AONB for example.
The High Weald AONB Management Plan is not in the evidence base of the Local Plan, it would provide HDC with valuable support when considering tourism activities & ventures in this protected landscape.
Remove strategic site SA414 from the local plan & do not develop it, it contains a local tourist attraction & conflicts with Policy 11.
Comment

Paragraph 5.24 shows the importance of tourism to the economy and jobs of Horsham District and the numbers provided are from 2015, some four years ago since 2020 has yet to conclude, this time lag will not demonstrate the increased importance of such activities.

Paragraph 5.25 should include Leonardslee Gardens since this has opened in 2019 and is a huge draw for tourists and a shining example of providing employment in rural areas.

Paragraph 5.28 in the second bullet point has missed the AONB after “proximity to the South Downs National Park; and”.  The High Weald AONB Management Plan (sadly not in the evidence base for this Local Plan) wishes to encourage both tourism and suitable enjoyment of this valued landscape and should be key when making decisions in the AONB to accord to the NPPF.

With regards to Policy 11 Land North east of Henfield (Mayfield) site SA414 HDC have failed to acknowledge it would not comply with Policy 11 “Proposals that result in the loss of visitor accommodation, visitor attractions or cultural facilities in the District will be resisted unless evidence of marketing with a reputable specialist agent at a realistic price that reflects the value of the business is provided. Evidence of the non-viability of the existing business will also be required.” Since the site description contains the following statement “There are some existing rural businesses within the site, and a formal garden (Sussex Prairie Garden) which is a local tourist attraction from late spring to mid-autumn.”
Accordingly please do not develop site SA414, Land North east of Henfield (Mayfield) since amongst other points it does not accord to policy 11 and will reduce the Districts ability to meet one of its five priorities as set in paragraph 5.24 “Tourism is an important source of local employment and promoting the tourism offer of the District is one of five priorities set out in the Horsham District Economic Strategy 2017-2027.

Proposed Change a) Add known new tourist attractions such as Leonardslee Gardens and the High Weald AONB for example.

b) Add the High Weald AONB Management Plan to the evidence base of the Local Plan and use it when making decisions regarding tourism in this protected landscape.

c) Remove strategic site SA414 from the local plan & do not develop it, it contains a local tourist attraction & conflicts with Policy 11.
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