2.99 In the same way that the network of roads connects destinations reached primarily by vehicle, active travel should be promoted by supporting and expanding the network or routes and spaces (green infrastructure) used by pedestrians and cyclists. Development of all scales and type should contribute to the green infrastructure network.
2.100 Further information and guidance can be found in the Standards Framework for Building with Nature.
2.101 Existing green and blue features, including hedgerows, trees, watercourses and ponds must be retained and incorporated into designs, unless to the proposal can demonstrate net benefits to green infrastructure.
2.102 All development must reinforce the green infrastructure network both within and surrounding the site.
2.10 Private gardens should utilise mature shrub and tree species to create visual interest, year-round structure and wildlife refuge.
2.104 Native species, ideally of local provenance, will be favoured over non-native species due to their role in reinforcing the Lake District's unique landscape character and providing for local wildlife.
2.105 Where boundary features are required to plots and/or sites, use boundary features such as:
2.106 When planning, designing and implementing green infrastructure, the Natural England Green Infrastructure Framework should be consulted, particularly the Green Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide.
Existing green and blue features must be retained and incorporated into designs, unless the proposal can demonstrate net benefits to green and blue infrastructure. Examples of green and blue features which must be retained include:
2.107 Development must not result in the loss of Local Green Space designations, as set out within Policy 23 – Community Facilities and Local Green Space of the Local Plan.
2.108 All developments of ten or more dwellings must include new Amenity Local Green Space.
2.109 The size and function of this new Amenity Local Green Space should be informed on a case-by-case basis using the national standards set out below. Where possible, new development and new Amenity Local Green Space should contribute towards helping communities meet these standards.
The size and function of this new Amenity Local Green Space is to be informed on a case-by-case basis using the national standards set out below. Where possible, new development and new Amenity Local Green Space should contribute towards helping communities meet these standards.
2.110 Generally, each dwelling should be provided with private outside space. However, a larger shared space may have greater amenity, play, biodiversity, landscape, and townscape benefits, than smaller enclosed pockets.
2.111 The following checklist should be used to ensure new open spaces are designed effectively:
2.112 Native tree and planting species of local provenance should be prioritised within new open space. Tree species should have regard to the ground conditions of the site, the landscape or townscape character of the site, the tree’s resilience to future climate change and the tree’s function: is it for amenity or for play? Designers are encouraged to utilise the palette of tree species provided within the Street Trees section to guide the appropriate selection and siting of various native species. Designers are also recommended to use the Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure Guide for additional information on which species thrive where.
2.113 New development that is adjacent to water must respond sensitively to the ecological, recreational and visual amenity of the asset, as well as have consideration for the flood risk that it can pose, and the potential for contaminated run-off. Within the Lake District, water can include lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, estuaries and the sea.
2.114 The following checklist must be used to ensure new development that is located adjacent to water is designed sensitively:
2.115 Particular design considerations must be given to schemes that are located on lake shores due to the prominence of their position in views from the lake and from other shores.
2.116 All new development must integrate Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) that achieve greenfield run-off rates. This must be demonstrated through a site-specific drainage strategy.
2.117 In all development situations, the SuDS Management Train must be applied, as illustrated below. Surface water that is captured and managed above-ground on site for non-potable uses, such as irrigation, will always be favoured.
2.118 SuDS must be considered in the early stages of design and, where possible, incorporated within highway and open space design. Multifunctional SuDS that also allow for biodiversity and recreation will be favoured.
2.119 The form, function and design of SuDS will vary on a site-by-site basis depending on topography, ground conditions, permeability, contamination potential, adjacent watercourses and the sensitivity of groundwater receptors.
2.120 Where sites have been previously developed, the potential for ‘de-paving’ redundant or unnecessary sealed surfaces and replacing this with SuDS should be explored.
2.121 The design of new SuDS must carefully, yet imaginatively, respond to local character and the setting of the scheme:
2.122 The creative use of permeable paving and gullies that respond to their context is encouraged.
2.123 Planting choice within SuDS must provide for biodiversity and pollinators. Trees and larger specimens are encouraged where appropriate to context. The use of native plant and tree species is required.
2.124 SuDS should contribute to amenity and biodiversity. For these reasons ‘pipe to basin’ SuDS where runoff is channelled into an underground tank must only be used as a last resort to manage water runoff from a site.
2.125 The longevity of SuDS and their ongoing maintenance must be secured for the lifetime of the development.
2.126 Applicants should refer to the SuDS Manual for detailed guidance on the correct application of SuDS in their scheme, including calculating and using greenfield run-off rates.
2.127 Designs must reduce flood risk at every opportunity. However, if a risk still exists, flood avoidance measures should be demonstrated in the proposal. These can include:
2.128 Ecological surveys and assessment should be undertaken prior to site design, so that the presence of sensitive sites, habitats and species informs the site layout or masterplanning stage. Early consideration of ecological constraints and opportunities help to underpin accurate design, budget and programme planning.
2.129 Development should contribute to nature recovery through the creation of more areas of wildlife-rich habitat in bigger patches, of better quality, that are more joined-up (see Cumbria Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS)).
2.130 All development must:
2.131 The priority is to retain and enhance existing habitat features of local biodiversity importance (see LNRS), for example, species-rich grasslands – both hay meadows and pasture in the low-lying valleys and lower slopes.
2.132 Any loss of habitat should be reinstated, for example reinstating hedgerows around the boundary or, where this is not possible, compensated. A qualified ecologist will make locally appropriate recommendations for biodiversity enhancements as part of the ecological assessment process.
2.133 BNG, and more general ecological enhancements delivered as part of development, should be locally appropriate and contribute to the Nature Recovery Network. As part of this network, BNG or general enhancements contribute to the reinstatement, restoration or reintroduction of local conservation priority species (as part of the emerging LNRS, an updated list of Priority Cumbria Species will be developed). The Building with Nature standards or emerging tools such as the Environmental Benefits for Nature Tool or the NATURE Tool can be used to find locally-appropriate restoration planting schemes
2.134 Habitat retained, enhanced or created must be managed to ensure this establishes as intended and is maintained in the long term. Habitat delivered as BNG has a minimum management legacy of 30 years.
2.135 All development, should result in improvements for biodiversity. Sites which do not contain habitats to start with such as change of use applications and those entirely comprising buildings and sealed surfaces (excluding the conversion of traditional barns) are not subject to formal BNG requirements.
2.136 Development which is subject to the BNG obligations must deliver a minimum of 10% Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) to be maintained for a minimum period of 30 years. Recognising variability in local ecological character across the Lake District, appropriate BNG requirements will be informed by an ecological assessment and use of the latest version of the Defra Biodiversity Metric by a qualified ecologist. A Biodiversity Gain Plan setting out the BNG committed to will form part of the ecological assessment submitted with the planning application.
2.137 Development must avoid impacts on designated sites and irreplaceable habitat as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) including:
2.138 Impacts in this context include direct impacts (e.g., loss or severance habitats to development) or indirect impacts (e.g., increased footfall resulting in deterioration of habitats or disturbance of species or increased surface water runoff).
2.139 A minimum 15m aspiring to a 30m buffer of semi-natural habitats should be applied between development and ancient woodland. These are mapped in the Local Nature Recovery basemap. Where assessment shows other impacts are likely to extend beyond 15m, the development is likely to need a larger buffer zone. Determination and creation of buffer zones should follow Natural England and Forestry Commission Guidance: Ancient woodland, ancient trees and veteran trees: advice for making planning decisions.
2.140 Developments should retain or create an appropriate buffer distance from the top of the bank of watercourses (to be determined by the ecological assessment). The buffer zone should contain natural and semi-natural habitats, such as trees, wetland, scrub or grassland, which can protect water quality, stabilise banks and provide biodiversity value. Recreational access within this zone should be sensitively designed to avoid risk of habitat degradation or species disturbance during and post construction.
2.141 Development must avoid potential impact on protected species. Where this is not possible, the Natural England licensing requirements apply (determined in the ecological assessment in light of the unavoidable impacts at the application site).
2.142 New development should balance introduction of impermeable built surface through provision of an enhanced network of wetland features including ponds, naturalised surface SuDS or ephemeral ditches to support invertebrates, amphibians and birds.
2.143 Avoid the use of hard boundaries around private spaces, unless it is traditional stone walls, and instead retain, restore, and expand on existing hedgerows to provide habitat connectivity across the site and allow for species movement. New hedge planting should be set back approximately 3m from the boundary to allow space for growth. Manage hedges to maintain structural diversity. Non-native hedge species must be avoided.
2.144 Retained trees and hedgerows require adequate root protection zone to ensure their longevity. Their function as part of a habitat mosaic can be optimised through creation and enhancement of adjacent and overhanging / underlying features, such as species-rich grassland verges alongside hedgerows, wet ditches and ponds. Appropriate dimensions and position within the sites will be guided by the ecological assessment, taking into account the site context (topography, substrate/s, proposed shading, etc) and biological requirements of target species.
2.145 Native woodland, shrub, and hedgerows planting should reflect local landscape character and plant typologies.
2.146 Roost and nest boxes for wildlife should be integrated to built development or as part of the wider scheme. Ranging from bird and bat boxes to bug hotels these will be selected for local species, sited at the appropriate height and aspect, and be connected to habitat which allows the target species to successfully establish in. Nest boxes must comply with the relevant British Standard: BS 42021:2022.
2.147 Roosts, nest boxes and microhabitats can be used to attract wildlife that is currently absent to the site. For example, the incorporation of swift bricks in places where swifts are not presently recorded will assist with nature recovery by providing the necessary habitat.
2.148 Development should achieve a variety of physical structures on-site to provide a wider range of microhabitats, niches and microclimates for species. Examples include standing and fallen dead wood, scrub, and a range of vegetation conditions from patches of open ground to very dense vegetation.
2.149 Proposed lighting – both external and internal light spill – should respect habitat areas retained and created on site. Artificial light should avoid areas (including dispersal routes and foraging areas) intended for nocturnal or crepuscular (twilight) species for risk of deterring their use. General guidance provided by the Good Lighting Technical Advisory Note, the Institute of Lighting Professional Guidance and the Bat Conservation Trust addresses parameters including light levels, direction, duration and reflective glare. Specific information will be provided in the ecological assessment.
2.150 Planting trees, shrubs, climbers and ground plants offers significant opportunity to benefit biodiversity as part of sensitive development. Key considerations are to incorporate a diverse selection of locally-appropriate species, suitable to the soil type and ground conditions. Selection of species resilient to climate change means those better able to cope with the more extreme and fluctuating seasonal conditions in the context of the site (prone to flooding, drought, etc). Inclusion of a diverse mix will also promote resilience. Selection of fruiting, nectar-rich and berry-bearing species which collectively provide a foraging resource for wildlife throughout the year is beneficial. In addition to the Cumbria PLAN BEE for pollinators, wildlife-friendly planting lists are available from a range of recognised bodies including the RHS, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Bug life.
2.151 Artificial grass must not be used as it has no ecological value and introduces ecological harms by removing grass habitat and introducing and impermeable plastic surface.
1. New development that is adjacent to water must respond sensitively to the ecological, recreational and visual amenity of the asset, as well as have consideration for the flood risk that it can pose. Within the Lake District, water can include lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, estuaries and the sea.
2. Particular design considerations must be given to schemes that are located on lake shores due to the prominence of their position in views from the lake and from other shores.
2a. Primary façades must be delivered on both the road-facing and lake-facing sides of the property to preserve visual amenity from both aspects.
2b. Where detached dwellings sit within large plots along lake shores, gaps between adjoining properties should be retained to allow for glimpsed views of the lake and opposite shores.
2c. Existing trees and mature vegetation must be retained on sites unless for exceptional reasons. New tree planting is encouraged to soften views of new built form and to help integrate it into the wider landscape.
2d. Dwellings along lake shores should retain expanses of open gardens and lawn adjacent to the water. Built form up to and on the water’s edge is to be limited to boat houses
2.152 All new development must contribute towards the Government's aim for all new streets to be tree-lined, as set out within Paragraph 131 of the NPPF. Where possible street trees should be planted in association with kerbside rain gardens or other SuDS measures to minimise water runoff.
2.153 Native tree species of local provenance must be prioritised. However, species choice should also reflect the site's constraints, the function the tree will play within the streetscape, and future climatic pressures expected due to climate change. Designers should use the Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure Guide for specifying species.
2.154 The following palette of native tree species must be used to inform planting schemes. However, a creative response to each site's location and landscape character is encouraged:
2.155 New street trees must be positioned with sufficient space to allow for full maturity without causing obstructions to access, junction sightlines, lighting and infrastructure.
2.156 The positioning of services and street trees must be coordinated at the outset of designs to ensure future interferences are avoided.
2.157 A diversity of street trees is encouraged to perform a variety of functions and deliver multifunctional benefits. This also enhances provisions for biodiversity and biosecurity resilience.
2.158 When street trees are being placed within paved surfaces, applicants must have regard for best practice in relation to the use of tree pits, guards and grates.
2.159 The Urban Tree Manual should be referred to for best practice guidance on the installation and maintenance of street trees. The maintenance of new streets trees, including watering and staking, must be secured for at least 3 years following planting to ensure successful establishment.