There is a speed limit on Windermere. However in September 2012, Defra agreed to the introduction of exemption to the 2008 navigation byelaws.
The management of the speed limit is at the centre of enabling Windermere to be enjoyed by a wider audience, while also protecting this precious natural asset.
Any exemption to the speed limit will be the exception. They will only be permitted where safety and the environment are not compromised, and exempted activity or event has a specific relevance for taking place on Windermere and the exemption activity or event achieves real benefits without compromising other lake users.
It is to allow one-off, exceptional events or activities, which celebrate the lake and benefits the area.
There are five stages to the speed limit exemption application and evaluation procedure:
We consider safety, environmental protection and making sure approved events bring a tangible benefit to the area.
Exemptions must also be aligned to the Windermere Management Strategy and bring benefits to the vision for the Lake District National Park.
Establishing the criteria has been an evolutionary process. We have defined an approach to assessing exemption requests against criteria. We have consulted people about this, which has allowed us to develop an exemption policy and procedure.
There is an initial meeting with the Park Management Leader to discuss the event or activity. We discuss why it has to take place on Windermere, or whether it could be accommodated elsewhere.
Applicants then formally apply for an exemption. They must show they have considered and addressed safety, environmental protection issues, the effect on other lake users and benefits they could bring to the area. A specific risk assessment needs to be included with the formal application.
The application is then evaluated against criteria relating to safety, environmental protection, how the event or activity will affect other lake users and activities, and the wider benefits the event or activity will bring.
If the application meets these requirements there will be a six week online consultation. If it does not, it will not proceed for consultation and the applicant can resubmit their application with appropriate amendments, proceed to consultation without the support of the Authority or withdraw their application.
Because we want the process to be as transparent and clear as possible, all applications are subject to consultation. Feedback from this is used as part of the decision making process. Listening to the communities and businesses we serve is important.
A total of 22 organisations and groups are consulted as part of this process. These include the key partners involved with delivering the Windermere Strategy and local Parish Councils. They are asked questions including:
All their comments are taken into consideration to inform our decision.
At the end of the six week consultation, we write a report using a standard template. It will outline the activity or event and the outcome from the consultation. The acceptability of the event or activity will then be recommended for 'approval', 'refusal' or 'approval with conditions' by the Director of Sustainable Development.A decision should be made within 12 weeks of an application being made. Applicants will be made aware of the timescales when they have their preliminary discussion with the Park Management Leader.
Yes. An exemption applicant who receives a decision to ‘refuse’ or is granted ‘approval with conditions’ can submit an appeal against the decision.
An appeal must be:
The fees and charges for administering and managing an exemption application is currently £680 including VAT. The initial meeting with the relevant Park Management ranger is free. You are entitled to a refund of £528 if your application is rejected before the consultation stage, or the application was withdraw before this stage.
There is also a charge for the time involved with monitoring the event and attending the safety briefing and event or activity on the day. The cost of this is £345 including VAT per half day.
The above fees are the current 2017/18 prices and subject to change.
Ideally we would like people to apply for speed limit exemptions between 30 September and 1 April each year. We would like people to apply a year in advance to allow us to plan and manage the cumulative impact of the total number of events and activities over time.
Exemption applications should avoid planning their event or activity at busy times on the lake, such as weekends, bank holidays and school holidays.
Steve Gaskell (Park Management Leader)
Lake District National Park Authority
Kendal LA9 7RL