Local Plan Review

A local planning authority should review the relevance of its Local Plan at regular intervals to assess whether some or all of it may need updating. Most Local Plans are likely to require updating in whole or in part at least every five years to remain effective. We are focussing on reviewing the policies in the Core Strategy (Local Plan Part One. We will also remove the saved policies from the 1998 Local Plan but consider the relevance of their content and decide how this can be presented in the new Local Plan. It may also be necessary to consider whether more housing and employment sites need to be allocated which will initiate a review of the Allocations of Land (Local Plan Part Two).

What's new?

Landscape Capacity Study 2017

The aims and objectives of the study are to assess the potential for the expansion of the 13 Rural Service Centres, the area around Kendal Fell Quarry and east of Cockermouth within the context of `best fit' with the receiving landscape. The documents provide an evidence base to inform decisions on where land may be suitable for development without adversely affecting landscape character and visual amenity.

Consultation of draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report 2017

As part of the preparation of the emerging Local Plan, the LDNPA are required to undertake a Sustainability Appraisal (SA) to ensure the social, environmental and economic impacts of the plan are taken into account.  This is a key tool for assessing and evaluating the effects of the Local Plan and is intended to help meet the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development.  

The SA will also meet the requirements for Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Local Plan.

A draft Scoping Report has been produced to identify the range and level of information to be included in the SA.  This forms the first stage of the sustainability appraisal process and should help ensure the SA is proportionate and relevant to the Local Plan being assessed.

In accordance with statutory regulations, the LDNPA are consulting with Historic England, Natural England and the Environment Agency on the content of the Scoping Report.  The consultation will run for a period of six weeks, from 5 April 2017 to 4pm 17 May 2017.  

This is primarily a technical consultation with the above statutory bodies, however, other organisations and individuals may also submit representations.  

The Draft Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report is available to view and download below:

Draft strategic objectives

We have reviewed the Strategic Objectives outlined in the Core Strategy and prepared new draft strategic objectives to support the Local Plan Review. These draft strategic objectives outline our key ambitions for the Local Plan. The Vision and Vision Outcomes were agreed by the Lake District National Park Partnership in 2006, and were reviewed as part of the preparation of the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Plan 2015-2020. The strategic objectives for the Local Plan are presented as ‘specifically this means’ in the document. The draft strategic objectives will form part of the public consultation on the draft Local Plan.

For further information, please email localplan@lakedistrict.gov.uk

What does the current Local Plan include?

  • The Core Strategy (Local Plan Part One) – adopted October 2010
  • The Allocations of Land (Local Plan Part Two) – adopted November 2013
  • Minerals Safeguarding Areas (Local Plan Part Three) – adopted November 2013
  • The Matterdale Neighbourhood Development Plan – adopted December 2015
  • The Coniston Neighbourhood Development Plan – adopted February 2016
  • A small number of saved policies from the 1998 Local Plan.

The Local Plan is also supported by several Supplementary Planning Documents which give more detail on how some of the policies should be implemented.

What will the Review look like?

The focus is on reviewing the strategic policies in the Core Strategy (Local Plan Part One), but we may also need to consider whether more housing and employment sites need to be allocated, which will initiate a review of the Allocations of Land (Local Plan Part Two). We will also use the process to remove the saved policies from the old 1998 Local Plan.

What are our aims and objectives for the new Local Plan?

The policies will  be grounded on achieving the 2030 Vision for the Lake District being “an inspirational example of sustainable development in action.” It will be a place where its prosperous economy, world class visitor experiences and vibrant communities come together to sustain the spectacular landscape, its wildlife and cultural heritage.

Theme

Aim

Prosperous economy

Seek to sustain and diversify the economy; encourage new business development and support business growth, encourage innovation and support and nurture the traditional Lake District industries

World Class visitor experiences

Seek to support sustainable tourism and leisure developments which respect the landscape and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials

Vibrant communities

Seek to encourage innovative and flexible solutions to maintain access to housing, services, education, healthcare and employment to secure the long term vibrancy of our local communities

A spectacular landscape

Seek to conserve the landscape and scenic beauty of the National Park, its wildlife and cultural heritage. We will promote ecosystems services as a vital component of delivering sustainable development.

What’s happened?

A comprehensive assessment of each Core Strategy policy has been undertaken to evaluate whether the policy needs to be revised. The outcome of this has determined that all the policies need revising to varying degrees, ranging from simple presentational issues to a more complex policy rewrite reflecting changes in circumstances and desired outcomes. The report can be viewed following the link below

We have reviewed the Local Development Scheme which was adopted in April 2016 to reflect the additional scope of the Local Plan Review including allocating more sites for development. The new Local Development Scheme, adopted August 2017, identifies the timetable for production of planning policy and supporting documents.

During the last two weeks of April 2016 we hosted an early engagement opportunity in each of the Distinctive Areas with representatives from Parish and Town Councils with the sole purpose of improving our awareness and understanding of local issues and development pressures. Summaries of the comments are captured in the report below.

We asked Parish Councils to complete a survey on infrastructure provision within their parish. This collated information on the range of infrastructure provision available, and identified any deficits in provision (physical, social and green infrastructure).

In autumn 2016 we asked what topics and issues do you think the Local Plan should cover? We received a good response and the comments received can be viewed following the link below.

What’s happening now?

We are currently updating our evidence base which is an important part of the Review process and will take place over the next few months. A variety of work packages has been identified and the reports from these will be available in due course

Reports containing information we have completed:

  • Residential Monitoring Report 2015/16 - This collates planning approvals and completions for new housing in the National Park between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016.
  • Household Income and House Prices (CACI 2016) - This collates data at Parish scale on household income and house price and establishes an affordability ratio. It presents a socio economic profile for each parish in the National Park.
  • Historic Environment - This report provides an overview of the historic environment within the National Park which is broken down by Distinctive Area.
  • Economic Evidence including employment space, retailing, tourism, and farm diversification . This report collates information on the key aspects of the economy of the Lake District. It helps us to understand trends for growth, understand business needs and how the market is likely to change. 
  • Health and Well-being - This report provides an overview of the health status and needs of the local population. If you have any views on the content of this paper please complete the questions in this survey
  • Access and Travel - This report provides an overview of the current access and travel arrangements across the County and specifically within the Lake District. It identifies the main issues and challenges associated both with gaining access to and moving around the Lake District, and considers what opportunities there are and what these mean for access and travel in the Lake District National Park.
  • Town Centre Health Checks – This report provides a comprehensive picture of the vitality of the key retail centres in the National Park based on survey work. It provides a snapshot of the current state of the town centres and their retail provision. The focus is on Grasmere, Hawkshead, Coniston, Ambleside, Keswick, Bowness and Windermere.
  • Retail overview and needs assessment - This report provides an overview of anticipated retailing trends and future floorspace requirements for comparison and convenience goods.
  • Economic development needs assessment - This report provides an overview of the anticipated future floorspace requirements for employment use (B-use space such as offices, workshops etc) and tourism related development.
  • Housing - This report provides an overview of the current issues and challenges affecting the delivery of housing in the National Park. It provides information to develop an evidence based rationale for policies in the new Local Plan

The work packages we are currently progressing are as follows:

  • Objectively Assessed Housing Needs - To identify the scale and mix of housing and range of tenures that the local population is likely to need over the plan period
  • Infrastructure Study - To assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure on the Lake District, and potential future needs and demands. We have sent a survey to all Parishes in the Park asking them about infrastructure in their Parish, and we are working with the County Council to understand infrastructure they provide or are responsible for. We will be contacting other stakeholders over the coming months to establish other infrastructure needs and demands
  • Climate Change - Effective spatial planning is an important part of a successful response to climate change. It can influence the emission of greenhouse gases and help increase resilience to climate change impact through the location, mix and design of development. There is a statutory duty on local planning authorities to include policies in their Local Plan designed to tackle climate change and its impacts. This paper will assess the key challenges and opportunities directly related to climate change and planning policy in the Lake District.
  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment - An update following the recent flooding events
  • Natural Capital and Ecosystems Services - this report highlights the current Natural capital related issues and challenges facing the Lake District National Park.
  • Call for sites - We have received a total of 290 site suggestions (including existing allocations) for consideration for various uses.  Our intention is to assess and filter out the majority of sites.  As part of this process, our Members will be making informal visits to the sites across the Park in September and October before making a decision as to their approval in late 2017 Call for sites.  

To comment on any of the above or for more information contact us at localplan@lakedistrict.gov.uk