North Somerset tourism boost

Marcus Plaw

New planning initiatives could give tourism in North Somerset a much needed shot in the arm, according to property consultants Colliers International.

Planning specialist Marcus Plaw said the National Planning Policy Framework plus the recently adopted North Somerset Core Strategy could deliver positive results for businesses involved in the region’s tourist trade.

He said: “The NPPF advises local planning authorities to back sustainable tourism and leisure developments in appropriate locations – and where needs are not met by existing facilities.

“At local level, North Somerset Council’s new planning policy for tourism supports the principle of new, improved and replacement visitor and tourist facilities and accommodation right across the district.

“Businesses and groups should embrace this and engage with the local planning authority in presenting their ideas and opportunities for building upon existing attractions and delivering new facilities.”

He went on: “North Somerset has some sensational countryside and heritage attractions and places of interest that are not just accessible by car. And not all are in the district’s main towns.”

Marcus Plaw urged businesses and groups to present their ideas and opportunities for building on existing attractions and delivering new facilities to the council.

He said: “It will still be important to demonstrate the proposals support the local and wider economy, do not adversely affect the environment and are sustainable.

“Where improvements are planned, it is important to engage with the council’s planning department with an understanding of what the new proposals will achieve locally and how they fit into the council’s wider tourism strategy.”

Colliers International has worked with a number of landowners and developers to help them amend planning permissions, sell off parcels of land or find partners with whom they can take forward developments.