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Lincolnshire business leaders call for council action to extend Skegness holiday season

Two business leaders in Lincolnshire are backing calls for councils to do more to extend the tourism season on the East Coast.

More needs to be done for tourism say business leaders Credit: ITV News

John Chappell the General Manager of Skegness Water Leisure Park and Chris Baron the Resort Director of Butlins have both spoken out as an online petition to extend the caravan season continues to gain support.

More than 700 people have now signed it and are calling for caravan sites to be allowed to open more between the months of October and March.

Planning decisions are ultimately made by the local authority, and the Environment Agency’s role is to provide them with expert guidance regarding flood risk. The Environment Agency has worked with the council to develop a position that balances flood risk with the needs of the tourist economy on the east coast. Caravans are particularly vulnerable to deep or fast flowing flood water which would be expected if coastal defences were overwhelmed. Therefore the agreed position restricts occupancy of caravans during the winter months, when evidence and history shows the factors that lead to coastal flooding are more likely to occur.

– Environment Agency
More than 700 people have now signed it and are calling for caravan sites to be allowed to open more between the months of October and March. Credit: ITV News

I'm very keen that we grow the coastal economy of Lincolnshire, it is a massive contributor - over £520 million a year - to the wider economy so we set a target to double that contribution to a billion pounds a year....but we have to be cautious about how we do that bearing in mind the huge challenges we face with climate change and coastal flooding. We all remember what happened in 1953 when people died on the coast in terrible storms and we have to recognise that climate change is having an impact on our weather all over the country. Caravans themselves are not firm like hotels are...having watched the footage from Scotland over the weekend of caravans floating down rivers, I would not want to see that happen on our coast. There is a way forward I'm sure, we should work together to deliver it.

– Cllr Colin Davie, Executive councillor for economy and environment - Lincolnshire County Council


£400 million tourism development to bring 1300 jobs to Chesterfield

A £400 million tourism development for Chesterfield has been announced which will bring more than 1300 jobs to the town.

Work will soon get started on the Peak Resort project, an integrated all-weather, year round leisure, health, sport and education destination. It was formally announced by the Prime Minister during a visit to America.

Plans for the project - which is in the Chesterfield borough on the reclaimed opencast mining site, close to the Birchall Estate at Unstone - have been years in the making. It brings together hospitality, university, sport and medical expertise and will have 600 holiday apartments, hotel and hostel units with 250 woodland lodges.

This is a fantastic boost to Chesterfield and its economy and another sign of the confidence the business community has about investing in our borough. The development will provide 1,300 jobs when it opens, and hundreds more during the construction phase, so the opportunities for local people to get new jobs will be tremendous. And once completed the venue will bring thousands of extra visitors to our borough, improving Chesterfield’s tourism offer, with the knock-on benefits that this gives to our local shops and facilities.

– Cllr John Burrows, Chesterfield Borough Council

Work will start on site between March and April.

National Parks appeal to government over affordable housing

England's ten National Parks have, today, expressed their concern at Government proposals that put at risk their ability to achieve more affordable housing in National Parks.

In an unusual step, all ten, including Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors, have written to Communities Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP asking for changes to the Government's proposals for reforming Section 106 agreements.

The Government consulted earlier this year on introducing a threshold in Section 106 agreements (used in planning) proposing a threshold of ten units below which local planning authorities would not be able to require the new housing to be affordable. In National Parks most sites for development tend to be small, infill opportunities and conversions for new affordable housing development. The introduction of any threshold, even one lower than ten units, in the words of the ten Chairs "risks seriously threatening our ability to facilitate affordable housing in National Parks for local needs".

Reforming Section 106 agreements might sound like a technical boring bit of planning, but in fact these changes go to the heart of how we can respond to the need for affordable housing in our rural communities. The National Park Authorities are committed to supporting living working communities.

This proposal simply won't help that in rural areas and we hope the Government will listen and exempt National Parks from the change.

– Jim Bailey, Chair of National Parks England and the North York Moors National Park Authority

Gary Verity: £10 million tourism fund 'not massive'

The chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire has welcomed news that £10 million pounds will be made available to bring cohesion to north of England tourism strategies, but says it is "not massive" in the bigger picture.

Gary Verity compared Scotland's smaller population and £60 million budget to that set aside for the whole of the north of England.

Today the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg criticised tourism across the north of the country despite Yorkshire's numbers showing an increase in visitors in the first six months of 2014.

Mr Verity told ITV Calendar that although his county was doing well, Nick Clegg could have a point about a better northern tourism strategy:

Yorkshire enjoys best visitor figures since 2008

Yorkshire recorded its best visitor figures since 2008 this year and that is before Le Tour de France visitors are taken into account.

Yorkshire enjoys best visitor figures since 2008 Credit: Welcome to Yorkshire

Between January and June 2014, 607,000 people came to the county, up seven per cent on the same period in 2013 and moving back towards figures recorded before 2008.

Today Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg criticised tourism agencies in the North of England saying they were "falling over themselves saying so many different things."

The county proved most popular with over 70,000 American tourists, while Germany, France and Poland supplied more than 50,000 guests.

Yorkshire enjoys best visitor figures since 2008 Credit: Welcome to Yorkshire

Around 47,000 Australians spent an estimated £25 million, and despite not being in the top ten most frequent visitors, people from Hong Kong spent the second most amount of money.


Clegg: North tourism organisations 'falling over themselves'

The Deputy Prime Minister claims the North of England has no strategy for selling itself as a tourist destination.

Nick Clegg says there are too many organisations competing against each other for visitors - despite a rise in visitor numbers.

He is making £10 million available to help promote the area:

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