Policy 24: Community facilities and open space

What are we trying to achieve?

Community and cultural facilities and local services are sustained, and communities have improved availability and access to well paid jobs, high quality greenspaces, recreation facilities and the countryside.

What is the issue?

Communities within the Lake District need access to a range of community facilities and services like village halls, places of worship, garages, post offices, schools, healthcare, pubs and shops. These often serve networks of small communities and are essential to enable communities to remain vibrant and sustainable. Community facilities are important for maintaining the social fabric and wellbeing of Lake District communities.

Many of our communities face difficulties in providing and retaining services and community facilities. The impact of second homes and holiday lets in the Lake District means that settlements often have dwindling resident populations which threatens the viability of local schools, healthcare and other facilities.

Whilst our communities are well served by green infrastructure, the key challenges for the Local Plan is to continue to safeguard Local Green Space, protect Rights of Way network from being lost through new development and support infrastructure that enhances outdoor recreation.

Our suggested approach

We will continue to support new or improvements to existing community facilities, including multi-use of buildings

We will resist the change of use of existing shops, pubs and drinking establishments to alternative uses outside of the primary shopping areas i.e. villages unless certain circumstances prevail.

Continue to support the provision of new open space and recreation facilities, and resist the loss of existing designated Local Green Space unless there are special circumstances.

We would also like larger scale developments to include informal open space within the proposal.

Policy 24: Community facilities and open space

We want to sustain community and cultural facilities and local services, and ensure communities have improved availability and access to high quality greenspaces and recreation facilities.

We will achieve this by:

  1. Supporting development proposals for new, or improvements to existing, community facilities, where:
    • there is evidence of need for a facility of the scale and type proposed; and
    • they are appropriately located to serve the needs of the community.
  2. Supporting development proposals that enable flexible / multi-use of buildings or that demonstrate innovative ways of combining a range of services and facilities on one site to sustain its long term viability.
  3. Resisting the change of use of existing shops, pubs and drinking establishments to alternative uses not falling within permitted use class changes or other A-Use classes outside primary shopping areas unless:
    • the current use is no longer suitable or viable for its purpose and there is no community need for the shop, pub or drinking establishments; or
    • it can be demonstrated that there are suitable alternatives within the settlement; or
    • a suitably located replacement facility of at least equivalent standard can be secured.
  4. Not permitting development that would have an unacceptable adverse effect on the amenity of an existing community facility.
  5. Supporting the provision of new open space and recreation facilities.
  6. Supporting improvements to existing designated Local Green Spaces which improve the quality of amenity spaces and recreational facilities.
  7. Only permitting the loss of a designated Local Green Space in special circumstances where:
    • it can be demonstrated that the green space is no longer needed, or
    • a suitably located replacement of at least equivalent standard is secured.
  8. Requiring new housing development of ten houses and above and new business parks, large-scale retail and commercial developments to include new on-site informal open space to enhance amenity value.

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

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