Cabinet Member: Councillor Dafydd Meurig
To consider the report of the Head of Environment
A report was submitted by the Senior Planning and Public Protection Manager, giving the Committee an opportunity to scrutinise the Supplementary Planning Guidance: Facilities and Attractions for Tourists (final draft), following the public consultations, and offering feedback before it was considered by the Joint Planning Policy Committee.
During the ensuing discussion, the following points were highlighted by individual Members:
· That the guidance did not clearly highlight the accumulative impact
· That there was no objection to the sites, but efforts should be made to protect the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
· That the use of hardstandings needed to be managed - were resources available to manage this?
· TWR 2 - concerns that buildings could be demolished and that holiday units could be built in their place rather than a house(s) for local people
· Airbnb - extreme problem in our communities as people converted their houses into holiday accommodation
· Was it possible to restrict the number by introducing a quota?
The Cabinet Member noted that the observations would be fed into the discussions of the Joint Planning Policy Committee.
The Senior Planning and Public Protection Manager highlighted the fact that draft guidance had been submitted, which sought clear and consistent guidance in terms of policy implementation. In response to the observations, in relation to the accumulative impact, he noted that the matter had been discussed in the guidance, but he accepted and noted the need to highlight this clearer, as well as the comment about TWR2. In the context of enforcement, he highlighted that enforcement was a challenging field across the service and a request was made for Councillors to report on any case where the law had been breached. He reiterated that there were clear conditions on the use of sites and the use of accommodation and that they should be complied with.
The Chair expressed that the comments had already been conveyed at previous meetings, and although they 'had been noted', they had not been included in the guidance. He suggested that there was conflict between officers and councillors and that the observations were not being accepted / included.
In response to a question regarding the lack of response to the consultation, it was noted that substantial consultation had been undertaken and it was accepted that the response had been disappointing. It was confirmed that the unit had gone above and beyond to raise awareness and seek responses and that the Rural Wales Service and the AONB had been included on the consultation list.
In response to the observation regarding introducing a quota, the Senior Planning Manager noted, despite accepting the comment, that the advantages of tourism had to be considered. He also noted that the officers accepted the observations of Councillors, responded to them constructively and he gave assurance that the observations would be submitted to the Policy Committee. The Head of Environment Department reiterated that he did not wish for the perception of 'not listening' to be disregarded and that the comment made regarding conflict was concerning. He noted that a solution needed to be sought.
RESOLVED to accept the report with a request for the final guidance to be circulated in the next cycle.