Policy 13: Central and South East Distinctive Area

What we're trying to achieve

[3.09.01] We want development in Distinctive Areas to effectively demonstrate the key themes of the Vision and reinforce the distinctiveness of place, whilst also enabling localised solutions to specific planning issues.

Policy 13: Central and South East Distinctive Area

Development in the Central and South East Distinctive Area will reinforce distinctiveness of place, deliver key themes of the Vision and enable local solutions to specific planning issues.

To achieve this we will:
– support development that retains the university campus at Ambleside and safeguards it for the purposes of further and higher education including the retention of student accommodation;
– support small scale development in Longsleddale Valley to reflect the very rural and dispersed nature of the community and to support its long term sustainability;
– support a public sewer along the A591 between Waterhead and Windermere;
– support advertising (signage and lighting) that is sympathetic to the historic
towns and buildings of Windermere and Ambleside;
– support improvements to the existing public rights of way network in Lyth Valley and the Kent Estuary and between Arnside and Meathop, including the crossing of Arnside Viaduct;
– support improvements to private coach parking at Rectory Road Coach Park. Visual improvements at this international visitor gateway are required as well as remodelling to improve capacity, and access and egress arrangements;
– support enhancement of Windermere Station and its role as a transport interchange with capacity improvements, including a passing loop on the Lakes Line to improve rail services and enable electrification of the line;
– secure the rejuvenation and conservation of ornamental parkland around Windermere lake which reinforce the picturesque landscape;
– secure improvements through development which deliver the allocated strategic regeneration site — Bowness Bay and The Glebe;
– consider the reuse or redevelopment of the former University of Cumbria satellite site, Hilltop, for alternative uses;
– consider schemes which facilitate landscape recovery at existing caravan sites/parks to reflect their sensitive and inspirational setting;
– consider solutions to car and coach parking problems and traffic management in Windermere;
– consider additional parking provision at existing car parks in Ambleside and Bowness;
– consider the regeneration of Ferry Nab to serve as a launch pad for recreation of Windermere lake and surrounding areas by sustainable transport. Improved connectivity with the adjacent Braithwaite Fold Car Park would be encouraged, alongside improved surface treatment of Braithwaite Fold Car Park to enable year round use;
– consider the use of the former Windermere Aquatic boat sheds at Beech Hill for maintenance and boat storage facilities;
– consider further improvements and enhancement of the existing gardens and their facilities at Fell Foot Country Park, including improved sustainable transport connections;
– consider the reconfiguration of the three existing hotel sites of Cragwood, Merewood and Briery Wood to offer collectively a unique visitor experience where it respects these villas and associated villa landscapes of the site and picturesque landscape. Opportunities to strengthen the sustainable linkages between sites and their surrounding areas will be sought;
– consider the regeneration of Waterhead Marina to provide for an increase in overnight boat stays, both private and public. Any on-land redevelopment will need to reflect its critical location forming the southern entry into Ambleside.

We anticipate that approximately 44 per cent of all development will take place in the Central and South East Distinctive Area.

Have your say!

Please read the guidance on completing the survey

Open the survey here

Policies map

If viewing the maps on mobile devices, you may find it easier to view in desktop site.

View the policies map

Current Situation

[3.09.02] First developed in 2010, Distinctive Areas refine the Spatial Strategy by setting out our intended approach for each of the five Distinctive Areas of the Lake District. They reflect the subtly distinctive characteristics, specific issues and challenges of each area that are in some ways unique from one another, thus making the strategy innovative, clearly spatial and locally distinctive. Distinctive Area solutions are designed to address specific planning issues in each area that would otherwise be considered different to the overall approach of the generic policies.

[3.09.03] The Distinctive Area policies give a spatial distribution of the percentage of development we anticipate being delivered in each area. It does not provide a precise breakdown of the amount of development that should be directed to each settlement as our spatial strategy is founded on a local needs-led approach.


[3.09.04] The Distinctive Area policies aim to deliver the four themes of the Vision across the Distinctive Areas in the Lake District, as well as deliver tailored solutions to specific planning issues being experienced in certain parts of the Lake District.

[3.09.05] Applications for planning permission will still be considered against all relevant polices in the Local Plan to determine the acceptability of the proposal. For certain developments a project level Habitats Regulation Assessment may also be required having regard to the impact pathways identified in the Appropriate Assessment (2019).

[3.09.06] The anticipated approximate percentage of development considers both the spatial hierarchy and population data. It is designed to give sufficient certainty without stifling flexibility as a result of being unnecessarily prescriptive, thereby maximising development opportunities. Prescribed apportionments of development for each settlement within the Distinctive Areas have not been set. However, it is possible to calculate an approximation of the level of development that is likely to take place in each settlement over the plan period. The spatial strategy is founded on a needs-led approach, and this may fluctuate over the plan period.

Previous consultation responses

Comments on this policy

Find out more: