Eastbourne’s Seafront is central to tourism accommodation planning across the town



Eastbourne Borough Council asked Acorn Tourism to prepare a Tourist Accommodation Study to support the preparation of the Seafront Local Plan, which formed part of the Local Plan for Eastbourne.

The aim of the study was to provide the evidence base to assist Eastbourne Borough Council in assessing current and future demand for tourist accommodation in the town as well as review and amend the existing accommodation retention policy in order to manage any future supply.

The study reviewed existing planning policy and provided up-to-date evidence to inform the development of planning policy in relation to the emerging Seafront Development Plan including site allocation and new development. The study would also be used to inform future planning decisions for new hotel and other visitor accommodation as well as change of use application.

Our Approach 

To prepare the Eastbourne Tourist Accommodation Study we undertook the following activities: 

  • Stakeholder meetings with the relevant departments of Eastbourne Borough Council including planning, tourism, conferences and economic development.
  • A desk review of tourism and visitor accommodation trends in UK as a whole and in seaside resorts specifically.
  • A review of relevant current policy and strategy documents to establish the policy and strategic rationale for hotel and other visitor accommodation retention and development in Eastbourne.
  • A review of planning issues surrounding tourist accommodation retention in Eastbourne and elsewhere in order to identify best practice examples.
  • An audit of current tourist accommodation supply in Eastbourne, identifying changes over the previous five years in terms of ownership, new openings, capital investment in existing stock, closures and change of use planning applications.
  • Visited and assessed the key development sites identified by Eastbourne Borough Council from a tourist accommodation perspective in terms of suitability of location and proximity to potential demand generators.
  • Interviews with a selection of hotel property agents, hotel developers and others with relevant knowledge in order identify potential investors and gauge interest in investing in Eastbourne.
  • Online survey and face-to-face interviews with tourist accommodation providers in Eastbourne. 


The key issues facing the tourist accommodation sector in Eastbourne were presented in the final report together with our outline recommendations and their potential impacts. The main recommendations were to:

  • Adopt a more flexible approach to managing future supply of tourist accommodation
  • Monitor tourist accommodation sector performance and market trends on a regular basis
  • Consider quality as the key tourist accommodation sector development driver
  • Maximise the potential catalytic impact of flagship developments in Eastbourne
  • Create an enabling and supportive public sector environment
  • Provide business development support.


Public Transport Directions

“Acorn delivered excellent results in all aspects of this project.” 

Matt Hitchen, Senior Strategy and Commissioning Officer, Planning, Eastbourne Borough Council

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Eastbourne Accommodation Study


Eastbourne Borough Council,


East Sussex, United Kingdom
Eastbourne Borough Council

Contact us

3 Woodland Enterprise Centre, Hastings Road,
Flimwell, East Sussex, TN5 7PR, UK

+44 (0) 1580 879970