The Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon is a 95 mile stretch of coastline that demonstrates 185 million years of geological history
Swanage is located on the A351 and the east coast of Purbeck and is the largest town in the district. Swanage also shares many of its amenities and services with some of its surrounding villages:
In 1086 Swanage was recorded as having 30 inhabitants, mostly fishermen. By the 18th Century the main industry became the stone industry and it is worth noting that even in Roman times marble was quarried from the Purbeck area. This led to rapid growth for the town. John Mowlem and his nephew George Burt made great improvements to the town including:
A town hall
Tourism in the area grew and with the decline of the stone industry between 1885 and 1896 it became the main industry in Swanage, and continues to be today. Purbeck is one of the most attractive areas in Britain to live, with beautiful landscapes and many sites of great wildlife interest. Twenty four per cent of the Purbeck area is designated SSSI, virtually the entire coastline is designated World Heritage site, and south part of district AONB Swanage offers a wide range of attractions and facilities, from award winning beaches to historical trails, exhibitions, and several festivals. Swanage also provides a series of services not only for itself but for many of its surrounding areas.
Tourism of course brings many benefits. Tourism in all of Dorset generates about £800 million a year and employs 37,000 directly or indirectly in the sector. However there are also some negatives to tourism; traffic congestion and parking problems, overcrowding, affordable housing issues, inappropriate development and damage to the environment. The coastal managers and tourism operators need to co-ordinate in order to maintain the town for both residents and tourists.
Over the past two years numerous organisations and individuals have been working together to produce two documents that provide a way forward at District level with the Community Planning process. They focus on the long-term concerns and challenges that affect local culture, economy, environment, and social issues now and in the future. There is the Swanage Community Strategic Plan and the Purbeck Community Action Plan.
The objective of the Swanage Community Strategic Plan is simply to help provide long-term improvement in the quality of life of everyone living and visiting Swanage and the surrounding rural areas. It documents a process which has enabled the community to assess the current situation and then to look forward over a 20 year period and make sustainable plan accordingly.
The MCTI (The Market and Coastal Towns Initiative) working group has been instrumental in developing and finally delivering this 20 year plan for Swanage. The cost of this research was supported by partners, including Purbeck District Council and DCC, together with a contribution from the South West Regional Development agency.
Identify a clear vision for the town's future
Bring together information about Swanage and its environs
Identify the main goals necessary to improve the quality of life in Swanage and the strategies to achieve them
Identify and priortise specific projects for achieving those goals
Provide a baseline which can be used to monitor and evaluate the projects when implemented
This plan will help attract more investment and funding in Purbeck both in the long and short term that will support communities and bring wider economic development opportunities. The plan will address social, economic and environmental issues to improve the social structure of our communities, strengthen the local economy and enhance the environment. In doing so it should improve the quality of life and better meet the needs of the people of Purbeck, whilst maintaining the Districts environment for future generations.
The plan aims to focus resources on three key actions under each one of the five priority themes.
Since these plans share goals in improving the quality of life for the residents and visitors to Swanage for the purposes of our field work and data collection they can be considered as one.
A range of methods could be used:
Transect - mapping of the town, industrial and housing location
Point sampling - Pedestrian flow/traffic flow at points along the transect. This is a timed count
Environmental quality survey - Bi-polar survey using typical environmental quality measures
Environmental and social indicators
Evidence of anti-social behaviour
Evidence of graffiti
Traffic travelling too fast
Parking restrictions not adhered to
Lack of public transport services
Lack of leisure services
Litter a problem
Also, keep an eye out for skips as a sign of gentrification. When areas are being redeveloped and improved, this is a sign that areas are attracting new investment. Look also at the number of empty properties or 'to let' signs
House prices across Swanage
Local papers - types of job advertised - seasonal, full time, skilled etc.
Look at the history of Swanage - Identification of past activity by street names
The results from these should enable groups to analyse the situation in Swanage at the moment, the effectiveness of any developments put in place already and plans for the future.
Settlements - Coastal town of Swanage
History of Swanage
Tourism in Swanage
Balancing the needs of the tourist industry with the needs of the local community
How can tourism development be managed to allow economic benefits without cultural or environmental costs?
The challenges of managing urban environments. How planners and decision makers are attempting to resolve these challenges?
The Swanage Community Strategic Plan: Focuses on the long-term concerns and challenges that affect local culture, economy, environment, and social issues now and in the future.It documents a process which has enabled the community to assess the current situation and then to look forward over a 20 year period and make sustainable plan accordingly
Look at the priority issues in Purbeck including; Affordable housing, Transport, and Healthy lifestyle
What are the economic and environmental impacts of tourism on the CBD?
With reference to primary and secondary data put forward a report to show that the main function of the town is tourism
How has tourism influenced the quality of building and land use change in Swanage?
How does proximity to coast influence characteristics of the built environment?
How have tourism and second homes influenced the character of Swanage?
Second homes - a blessing or bane
What are the challenges of managing urban environments?
If sharing data make sure that in pedestrian/traffic counts the same decisions are made about what to count eg pushchairs, bikes etc.
If possible carry out questionnaires at different times of day/year if not note when they are done and how this could affect the results
Mapping of town
Environmental and social quality indicators
Environmental quality survey
Evidence of changing industry and service provision
Secondary data, for example housing prices and jobs
Changing land-use through time
Map of town - Land use past and present
Isopleth Map - Pedestrian numbers
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