Ambelside University campus buildings with fells behind

Design Code

The Lake District National Park Authority has been successful in securing a place on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Design Code Pathfinder Programme. The aim is to empower communities to have their say on the development of new homes, buildings and amenities.

During the 12 month programme we will use the National Model Design Code (NMDC) to consider new developments’ design principles, such as street character, building type and facade as well as the environment, sustainability and heritage factors.

The overall aim of the design code will be to ensure that new development conserves and enhances the Lake District’s heritage and beauty.

A design code sets out specifications for new development

A design code sets out a number of specifications for new developments in a simple, concise and illustrated way which are specific to an area. The National Design Guide (2021) defines a design code as:

A set of illustrated design requirements that provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area. The graphic and written components of the code should build upon a design vision, such as a masterplan or other design and development framework for a site or area.

A design code is not just about making places look beautiful. The code will give homeowners, developers and the local community guidance about what is visually acceptable and how they can help create beautiful places and buildings that conserve and enhance the Lake District and deliver sustainable development.

The Lake District has a mixture of new and traditional buildings and styles

  • A new affordable housing development in Broadgate Meadows in Grasmere

  • Newly built houses on a riverside

    New houses at Staveley Riverside

  • Using traditional materials and traditional skills in new buildings.

  • The Gather, a community run shop and cafe in Ennerdale.

  • A traditional whitewashed farm near Coniston.

  • University of Cumbria campus at Ambleside.

The Lake District Design Code will be produced alongside the local community and will be complete in 2023

The Lake District National Park Authority will produce the design code alongside the local community, key stakeholders including the Lake District National Park Partnership, local agents and developers.

Over the next six months we will be engaging with the community to establish a vision for the Lake District to ensure the design code is based on what is popular locally. A draft version of the design code will be available for consultation in early 2023.

We expect to complete the first draft of the design code by April 2023.

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