Retention of Visitor Accommodation SPD
3.0 Information requirements
Which establishments are included?
3.1 This SPD relates only to cases where a planning application is being submitted to change existing visitor accommodation such as a hotel, guest house, caravan, camping or chalet site, to an alternative use. It may also apply in certain situations where a partial change of use is proposed.
3.2 The SPD does not apply to dwelling houses where one or two rooms are being used for guests and they share facilities with the family. This type of establishment is classed as residential accommodation and is therefore not covered by Policy E4 of the Planning Strategy.
3.3 Each application is, however considered on a case by case basis, and on its own merits. If you are in any doubt as to whether the SPD applies to your property, you are advised to contact the Council’s Development Management team using the contact details at the end of this document.
What evidence is required?
3.4 Appendix A provides a checklist of the evidence required to be submitted with any planning application to change the use of existing visitor accommodation to an alternative use.
3.5 The requirements in appendix A apply to the town as a whole, and not just identified priority areas. The Council does however recognise that the information required may be onerous for smaller establishments to provide. Therefore, visitor accommodation with 4 or fewer guest bedrooms will only be required to provide the evidence required in Appendix B.
When is the evidence required?
3.6 Planning applications for changes of use of visitor accommodation that has 4 or more guest bedrooms should be accompanied by the evidence required in Appendix A.
3.7 Planning applications for changes of use of visitor accommodation with 4 or fewer guest bedrooms should be accompanied by the evidence required in Appendix B.
3.8 Applicants should attempt to respond to all items listed in the relevant appendix. If an applicant is not able to provide evidence on a particular item or does not consider it relevant to the application, they should provide reasons for this in writing at the time of submitting the application. If an applicant considers that there are special circumstances that should be taken into account they should include an explanation of these with their application. The Council will be better able to process applications in a timely manner if they are accompanied by reasonable levels of evidence/explanation as set out above.
What will be done with the evidence?
3.9 The Council’s lead officer for Tourism will be consulted and will provide advice to the planning officer dealing with the application in the form of a written report. This will inform the planning officer’s final report. In exceptional circumstances the Council may seek external advice and verification of the evidence submitted.