Policy 19: Sustainable tourism and holiday accommodation

What are we trying to achieve?

A high quality, sustainable tourism experience for the diverse range of visitors to the Lake District, and ensure proposals benefit our businesses and local communities.

What is the issue?

The industry is still very seasonal, but the profile of visits is changing, so this creates significant numbers of seasonal jobs. There is a perception that all tourism related jobs are low paid and that tourism does not significantly contribute to the economy. There is continual pressure for change to the visitor accommodation market, as trends change. This creates issues for unpopular accommodation stock whilst there are pressures to increase the stock of the fashionable accommodation. There is significant pressure for holiday let accommodation which competes with new housing provision.

Our suggested approach

We will continue to identify locational criteria where we will support new tourism development – focussed towards our main settlements, and existing tourism sites, but also within Showcase Areas. We will continue to support farm diversification proposals and proposals at geographically fixed resources.

We will support year round tourism.

We will support a wide range of visitor experiences – supporting new tourism attractions and accommodation.

We will support caravan and camping - associated with farm diversification, and extension of existing sites where landscape capacity can accommodate this. We will control the change between different pitches and plots.

We will identify Showcase Areas – these will encourage investment in visitor infrastructure drawing on experience and success of the Windermere Waterfront Programme. We will continue to only support holiday letting where it reuses existing buildings – it will not utilise buildings that would be suitable for local need and affordable housing.

Policy 19: Sustainable tourism and holiday accommodation

We will support proposals which deliver a high quality, sustainable tourism experience for the diverse range of visitors to the Lake District, and ensure proposals benefit our businesses and local communities.

To achieve this we will support proposals which:

  • enhance the cultural, adventure, landscape and environmental, or hospitality, food and drink experiences; or
  • increase the length of stay of overnight visitors; or
  • encourage year round sustainable tourism. 

Sustainable tourism proposals

Sustainable tourism proposals will be supported where they:

  • are within or well related to the settlement form of a Rural Service Centre; or
  • contribute to the diversification of an agricultural or land-based rural business (Policy 20); or
  • rely upon a geographically fixed resource which justifies the development; or
  • are located within or adjacent to an existing visitor attraction or accommodation site.

Holiday accommodation

Caravan and camping

Proposals for camping, static and touring caravan sites (including extensions to existing sites), and any associated buildings will only be supported for short term holiday letting and where they:

  • contribute to the diversification of an agricultural or land-based rural business (Policy 20), pub or drinking establishment, where the proposed development area would be appropriately screened; or
  • are located on, or adjacent to existing sites, where the proposed development area is well screened and fits within natural boundary features, and where the massing and site density of the existing site is reduced to the benefit of the amenity of the staying visitors; and
  • enhance the landscape character of the area, and where necessary improves screening of the existing site; and
  • do not introduce inappropriate levels of use to the location, and are consistent with other policy criteria. We will only permit the loss of tented or touring caravan uses to other forms of caravan and camping accommodation where:
  • a good range of caravan and camping accommodation is maintained in the local area; and
  • the proposal would broaden the range and offer of accommodation available through the provision of new types of holiday accommodation.  

Hotels and guest houses

Proposals for hotels and guest houses will be supported where they:

  • are located within or well related to a Rural Service Centre or Village; or
  • contribute to the diversification of an agricultural or land-based rural business (Policy 20); or
  • rely upon a geographically fixed resource which justifies the development; or
  • are located within or adjacent to an existing visitor accommodation site; and
  • are commensurate with the level of suitable housing and dedicated accommodation for staff which is available locally and accessible to the development by sustainable transport opportunities.

We will seek to retain and evolve a range of high quality holiday accommodation. Proposals seeking to change guest houses to different forms of holiday accommodation to meet changing market demands will be supported where a range of tourism accommodation is available in the local area and the relevant policy criteria are met. We will only support the change of use of holiday accommodation to other uses where it can be demonstrated:

  • that a range of holiday accommodation is available in the local area; and
  • there is no demand for it resulting from an appropriate marketing exercise and other evidence. 

Holiday letting

We will only support proposals for the reuse of existing buildings (excluding guest houses) for short term holiday letting where they would:

  • not utilise a building that is suitable for providing local need or affordable needs housing; and
  • not utilise a building which is suitable for providing employment use; or
  • form part of an agricultural or land-based rural business diversification proposal (See Policy 20). 

New build housing for holiday use will not be supported.

Have your say!

It’s really important that residents, businesses and stakeholders get involved during the consultation phase to tell us if you think what we are suggesting is right. Your answers to the questions in this survey will help us consider everyone's views and to re-draft the plan where necessary. Consultation closes on Friday 29 June.

By completing this survey you will have the chance to win £1000 of Lake District currency. For further information please see terms and conditions.

Give your views here

Allocations of land

See and comment on the suggested land allocations

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View and comment on the allocations map

See all allocations and excluded sites as pdf files

Showcase Areas

See the Showcase Areas map and comment on the types of development.

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View and comment using the map

Open the table of site descriptions

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