Policy 03: Spatial strategy

What are we trying to achieve?

To create a spatial strategy that sets out the level and type of development that is considered appropriate for different places, and encourages more sustainable living and working patterns by reducing unnecessary travel and avoiding sporadic development in the open countryside.

What is the issue?

There is limited capacity for new development within the Lake District, yet there remains a need for certain types of development to support and maintain the viability, sustainability and resilience of our local communities.

The monitoring framework highlights a higher than anticipated percentage of development in the cluster communities and open countryside. 

Supporting new tourist and visitor facilities outside of Rural Service Centres is a important way of supporting a prosperous rural economy.

The conversion of barns to residential or commercial use should be supported acknowledging their positive contribution to the historic environment.

Our suggested approach

The intention is not to develop a new settlement hierarchy, as the current approach provides a high degree of certainity as to where new development will be supported, and in the main, appears to be working.

We will be clear on what type and scale of development is acceptable in an open countryside location recognising that there is a demand for certain types of development within these locations.

We acknowledge that some of the Rural Service Centres are reaching development capacity, and so we aim to provide a policy framework that encourages smaller settlements to improve their sustainablility through new development whilst reflecting their own capacity limitations.

We will provide a policy steer on the reuse and redevelopment of buildings in the open countryside where they conserve and enhance the authenticity of the spectacular landscape.

Policy 03: Spatial strategy

We will enable development that contributes towards achieving the four themes of the spatial vision, supports and maintains the vibrancy and sustainability of settlements and reinforces local distinctiveness and sense of place.

We will achieve this by supporting development that is:

1. in accordance with Table below, and

2. of a scale and nature appropriate to the character and function of the location in which it is proposed; and

  • Contribute towards meeting the needs of the local community, or
  • Bring benefit to the local community, or
  • Deliver a prosperous economy, and 

3. proportionate to the size and population of the settlement and are compatible with environmental and infrastructure capacity of the settlement to accommodate further growth.

Planned growth is facilitated through the allocation of development sites for residential and employment purposes (including mixed uses sites), the Distinctive Area policies and Showcase Area policy.

Rural Service Centres

Settlement role:

Locations which provide the basis for self-sufficiency to live and work, minimising the need to travel.

Provide or have access to a range of local services and community facilities, a range of housing types and tenures, and local employment opportunities.

Act as a transport hub serving predominantly nearby communities and the wider rural area but with accessibility
to larger centres.

To accommodate at least 50 per cent of all housing, employment and retail related development will be facilitated in Rural Service Centres.

Development will:

Reinforce or enhance the role of Rural Service Centres, and

Sustain and enhance the range of local services needed for both the Centre and its wider hinterland, and

Be within or relate well to the form of the settlement, and to existing buildings within the settlement, and to utility and community infrastructure, and

Protect, maintain or enhance the local distinctiveness character and landscape setting, and

Maximise development opportunities.


Villages

Settlement role:

Settlements that have a more limited supply of social and economic infrastructure including employment, services and facilities, but demonstrate strong linkages with Rural Services Centres and other settlements.

To accommodate approximately 20 per cent of all housing, employment and retail related development will be facilitated in villages.

Development will:

Strengthen community viability and resilience, and

Maintain and enhance existing local service provision, and

Be within or relate well to the form of the settlement, and to existing buildings within the settlement, and to utility and community infrastructure, and

Protect, maintain or enhance the local distinctiveness character and landscape setting, and

Maximise development opportunities. 


Cluster communities

Settlement role:

A small settlement or group of small settlements which collectively or individually, have

  • limited local services and facilities, and
  • easy access to a Rural Service Centre, village or services in a settlement outside the National Park via public transport, walking or cycling.

To accommodate no more than 10 per cent of all housing, employment and retail related development will be facilitated in Cluster Communities.

Development will:

Be small-scale to meet local needs, and

Reinforce the distinctive settlement pattern of the area, and

Utilise previously developed land, buildings and domestic gardens, or

Exceptionally, where the identified housing need is proportionately high, we may consider a greenfield site, or

Helps sustain an existing business.


Open Countryside

Exceptionally, we will only support proposals for development in the open countryside where it demonstrates:

  • an essential need for a rural location; or
  • the location is necessary for the provision of public utilities and infrastructure; or  
  • that it helps to sustain an existing rural business; or  
  • it is reasonably necessary for and designed to support agricultural or forestry use; or
  • is an appropriate extension, reuse or redevelopment of an existing use or building.

We will support the reuse of buildings for business or residential use where the building:

  • contributes to the landscape character or historic environment, and
  • is structurally sound and capable of conversion, and
  • the development would not result in an unacceptable change to its character, and
  • is large enough to accommodate the use proposed without the necessity of major alteration, extension or reconstruction, and
  • is easily accessible to the existing road network and suitable access arrangements can be secured

We will only support the redevelopment of an existing use or building where it can be demonstrated:

  • the building is not structurally sound or capable of conversion, and
  • would not result in unacceptable harm to a heritage asset, and
  • the development would result in a significant enhancement of the landscape character or historic environment and enhances its immediate setting, and
  • is easily accessible to the existing road network and suitable access arrangements can be secured.

Have your say!

It’s really important that residents, businesses and stakeholders get involved during the consultation phase to tell us if you think what we are suggesting is right. Your answers to the questions in this survey will help us consider everyone's views and to re-draft the plan where necessary. Consultation closes on Friday 29 June.

By completing this survey you will have the chance to win £1000 of Lake District currency. For further information please see terms and conditions.

Give your views here

Allocations of land

See and comment on the suggested land allocations

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View and comment on the allocations map

See all allocations and excluded sites as pdf files

Showcase Areas

See the Showcase Areas map and comment on the types of development.

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View and comment using the map

Open the table of site descriptions

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