Policy 01: National and international significance of the Lake District

What we're trying to achieve

[3.01.01] We want to conserve and enhance the extraordinary harmony and beauty of the Lake District landscape, its Special Qualities, including the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.

Policy 01: National and international significance of the Lake District

We want the extraordinary harmony and beauty of the Lake District landscape,
its Special Qualities, including the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value, to
be conserved and enhanced.

We will achieve this by:

  • conserving and enhancing the Special Qualities and attributes of
    Outstanding Universal Value of the Lake District; and
  • supporting development proposals which are consistent with National Park
    Purposes and Duty.

If it appears that there is a conflict between National Park purposes, we shall
attach greater weight to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural
beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District National Park.

All development proposals should protect, promote, make sustainable use of the
Special Qualities, including the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value, and
enhance the authenticity, integrity and significance of the Lake District.

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Current Situation

[3.01.02] National Parks are subject to the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. We identify the Special Qualities which distinguish the Lake District from other National Parks and other parts of the country. These Special Qualities were reviewed and revised during the preparation of the Management Plan 2015-2020.

[3.01.03] The attributes of Outstanding Universal Value identified upon inscription as a World Heritage Site all reflect the Special Qualities that distinguish the Lake District as a UK National Park. There are inevitably pressures for change, which must be accommodated sensitively and harmoniously. Development proposals affecting the Lake District including its setting will come under close scrutiny, usually by means of formal assessments and design statements, to ensure that immediate and long-term impacts are fully evaluated and will be compatible with National Park purposes (see introduction - The Purposes and Duty of National Parks).

Implementation

[3.01.04] The Lake District is a nationally significant, special place and part of the cultural and natural heritage of the nation. As such, proposals for new development will need to be carefully located and designed so that they respect the ‘statutory purposes’ which underpin its status as a National Park.

[3.01.05] It is extremely unlikely that major development, defined as development which is more than local in nature, scale, and character and which may have a significant adverse impact on the Special Qualities and attributes of Outstanding Universal Value of the Lake District, will be compatible with National Park purposes. However, there could conceivably be circumstances where it can be demonstrated that the development is in the public interest and can only be accommodated within a National Park. Proposals for major development will need to meet the assessment requirements outlined in national policy and guidance.

[3.01.06] Examples of major development proposals include road schemes, pipelines and tunnels, energy supply schemes (conventional, nuclear or large scale renewable), high voltage electricity transmission schemes, water supply schemes and reservoirs, large scale tourism or leisure schemes, or proposals for major new waste disposal or management facilities (including those for nuclear waste). This policy applies where these are located entirely within the Lake District boundary, pass through, or are outside the boundary but affect the setting.

[3.01.07] Developments which may affect the setting of the Lake District will require a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), where appropriate, which is proportionate to the scale and nature of the proposal in order to determine likely impacts of development. We will work with others to influence their plans, strategies and proposals to ensure that development outside the Lake District does not damage or harm its setting, or otherwise prejudice the achievement of National Park Purposes.

[3.01.08] The outstanding value of the Lake District, and the Frontiers of the Roman Empire World Heritage Sites as agreed at their inscription, including their authenticity and integrity, is a key material consideration when decisions are taken on applications for planning permission and other relevant applications, whether by the Authority, neighbouring Local Planning Authorities or the Planning Inspectorate and Ministers. Heritage assessments will be required in a number of cases, guidance on the preparation of these assessments can be found in our ‘Heritage Impact Assessment and information requirements practice guide’ available on our planning webpage.

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