The Lake District National Park Authority works hard to ensure planning rules are followed and the special qualities of its spectacular landscape are safeguarded. As part of this work, it has been ruled that a car park at Low Grassings near Coniston must be removed.
The National Park Authority served an enforcement notice against the car park, which had been created without planning permission, in March 2022. The landowner lodged an appeal against the enforcement notice with the Secretary of State arguing that a breach of planning control had not occurred. However, an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State has now dismissed the landowner’s appeal, agreeing with the National Park Authority that the car park is unlawful and must be removed.
The car park – which included unauthorised excavations, stone infill, pay and display machines and associated signage – was considered an unacceptable man-made addition that harmed the character and appearance of the National Park and World Heritage Site.
The landowner is now required to stop using the land as a car park, remove the hard surfaces and ticket machines that had been installed, and reinstate the land. This must all happen within three months.
Geoff Davies, Chair of the Lake District National Park Authority Development Control Committee said: “We are pleased that the Inspector has agreed with us that this unauthorised car park should be removed. This is an unlawful and unacceptable development, formed without planning permission in the open countryside of the National Park. Our enforcement team work hard to ensure planning rules are followed and the special qualities of spectacular Lake District landscape are safeguarded from harmful unauthorised developments. We look forward to seeing the land restored.”
The enforcement notice against this car park is one of several enforcement notices served by the National Park Authority over the last year – the Lake District’s active planning enforcement team placing 24th of 322 local planning authorities nationally, and 10th outside London for the number of enforcement notices served in recent Government figures.
Appeal decision on the Planning Inspectorate website: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3297833
Government planning application and enforcement statistical information: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-planning-application-statistics