All new development must contribute towards the creation of active frontages and natural surveillance of the street. All streets must be:
designed with all eventual users in mind.
tree-lined and incorporate space for biodiversity and other green infrastructure, such as SuDS.
prioritising the safe and efficient movement of pedestrians and cyclists.
permeable, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists.
reducing the reliance on cars and ensuring that parked vehicles do not dominate the street scene.
welcoming and encourage social interaction, including space for informal seating and gathering.
appropriately lit depending on their location within a settlement and with regard to the impacts lighting has on wildlife.
legible and easy to navigate for all users. Creative use of specimen trees and public art should be explored for enhancing legibility, particularly for those with cognitive impairments.
free of unnecessary signage and line work that can contribute towards overly urbanised characters. For example, carefully designed narrowing of streets can be used to deter on street parking and therefore remove the need for yellow lines.
use minimal street furniture. All new street furniture must be coordinated and appropriate to the Lake District context, utilising robust, natural and green materials where possible.
sufficiently large to achieve their intended function, including serving suitable car parking and allowing for access by services and emergency vehicles.
the minimum required carriageway width whilst maximising spaces of pedestrians, cyclists and green infrastructure.
2.160 Development that is subject to this code will not be create new Primary or Secondary Streets or High Streets. However, any new development that adjoins these streets must be aware of how to appropriately respond to and make connections with these public spaces.
Road markings and signage must be kept to a minimum.
Buildings must front onto the street and should take their main access from it.
Streets must be designed to encourage low speeds through the use of informal traffic calming such as raised tables and kerb build outs, as well as green infrastructure including tree pits and SuDS.
Streets should be designed to allow for informal surveillance of the street.
Streets should include some provisions for on street parking, utilising tree planting and green infrastructure for informally defining spaces.
Streets should include opportunities for social interactions, including seating and informal rest areas.
Where new development occupies a corner plot, active frontages must be delivered on both sides of the street. Blank facades must be avoided.
Where present within local architectural styles, bay windows, oriel windows and porches can also be used to animate the street frontage and create a more welcoming street scene.
Set back zones, no matter the size, must be green and contribute towards the sustainable drainage of water.
The use of pedestrian gates that align with front doors is highly encouraged, where front gardens are present.
Where dwellings traditionally front directly onto the footway, it may be appropriate to reflect this arrangement within new development. However, the integration of some 'defensible' green space must be considered.
Where dwellings traditionally front onto the carriageway at an assortment of angles, it may be appropriate to reflect this arrangement within new development. However, best practice must be adhered to, for example avoiding blank facades.
New development must avoid overly urbanised gates and boundary treatments. Soft boundaries, such as hedges, and dry stone walls will be favoured.
Cul-de-sacs should only be used where through streets are not possible. They should ideally serve a small number of houses.
Vehicular turning heads should not be overly engineered and be as small as possible, whilst providing sufficient turning space for emergency vehicles, refuse lorries and deliveries.
The use of turning loops incorporated with green space should be explored as alternatives to 'lollipop' or 'T' turning heads.
Unnecessary kerbing, particularly of soft verges, should be avoided, whilst ensuring new GI is protected from vehicle encroachment.
This cul de sac is not over-engineered: rather than be designed for the very rare occasions when two large vehicles have to go past one another, the road is designed for its very low level of day-to-day use.
Pedestrians, car parking and through traffic are all accommodated in this narrow tertiary street that was laid out long before the private car existed.
With good visibility and soft verges, this attractive lane functions perfectly well without road markings, kerbs and piped drainage.
A narrow carriageway, a single pavement and off-street parking mean this tertiary street has a fairly informal character.
Good levels of passive surveillance and a clear edge between public and private space at this small estate in Coniston.
This cul de sac is almost like a shared driveway giving access to parking spaces more or less on the level with the highest bungalows.
Short rows of mews can be appropriate where densities are high in the historic core and where short terraces of houses are common featured.
Mews offer opportunities for intimate shared spaces. Therefore, domination by car parking should be avoided. Careful spacing and siting of trees and street furniture should be used to demarcate where is appropriate for car parking and where is not.
Typically, mews do not exhibit any set back, however, encouraging the greening of the street through raised beds and planters outside houses can help to blend the interface between public and private.
Shared streets can be an excellent placemaking tool for creating characterful, sociable and attractive streets. However, careful and attentive design must be applied to ensure these streets are navigable and inclusive for all, including those with visual or cognitive impairments.
The justification for including shared surfaces within a development must be robust and all concerns relating to impaired users addressed through strong design choices.
Surface treatments must relate to the street's surrounding urban, suburban or rural character.
Shared streets must utilise a varied palette of textures and colours to demarcate carriageway space to ensure navigability for those with dementia or visual impairments.
Shared streets should incorporate 'comfort space' into their designs which discourages vehicular access and therefore allows pedestrians to choose whether to mix with traffic or not.
Vehicle speeds must be reduced prior to entering the shared space.
Streets must include appropriate tree planting and green infrastructure to alter driver behaviours and speeds without the need for signage or engineering.
Space should be created for some car movement and occasional on street parking.
Careful spacing and siting of trees, SuDS and street furniture should be used to demarcate where is appropriate for car parking and where is not.
Opportunities for seating, informal green space and rest areas should be incorporated into street design.
EV charging must be incorporated into the street scene.
All courtyards and shared driveways must be overlooked by surrounding properties.
Main accesses to properties should stem from the courtyard or shared driveway.
Painted line markings must be avoided. Variations in materials, metal studs and setts should be utilised to define parking spaces.
Where appropriate, parking spaces should be unallocated to particular properties to help create greater capacity. Where allocations are deemed to be necessary, painted numbering must not be used. The use of small, numbered plaques or signs can be explored.
EV parking must be incorporated into all new courtyards and shared driveways.
Opportunities to include incidental green and play spaces should be explored within all new courtyards and shared driveways, including community gardens and growing spaces. Siting of this should be away from overly shaded areas.
Designs of courtyards and shared driveways should be conscious that these public spaces are generally not adopted and therefore ongoing maintenance will need to be provided for by residents.
2.161 Streets and public meeting places, no matter the scale, play an important role in enabling social interactions and enhancing a place's sense of community.
2.162 All development of 5 dwellings or more must provide a formal or informal meeting place at a focal point within the scheme.
2.163 New meeting places must be multi-generational in their designs, for example, including large stone boulders for children to climb on, informal tree stump seats for young adults to meet at, and formal seating for guardians to supervise children and older generations to converse.
2.164 Meeting places must occupy a focal point within any new development to ensure good natural surveillance and use by residents.
2.165 Where possible, the scale of new meeting spaces should be sufficient for hosting small-scale community events.
2.166 New development adjoining an existing meeting space, must provide an active frontage with good natural surveillance.
2.167 New development must not obstruct or screen important views and vistas that are afforded from the meeting place.
Staveley: a small semi-formal meeting place and stopping point.
Elterwater: the village green as a meeting place, complete with seating, street furniture and bus stop.
Hawkshead: the former market place has street furniture and seating pushed out to its periphery, but is the kind of space that can be used for occasional formal events or activities.
P.3.i Secured by Design
2.168 Highway and route design must enable different highway users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists to be able to see each other, offering passive surveillance of these highways and routes.
2.169 Existing rights of way should be incorporated into new development in a manner that promotes overlooking and passive surveillance.
2.170 Where there is street lighting in a settlement, routes and spaces must be well lit to improve safety and reduce fear of crime at night. The light sources and structures must be designed into the street or spaces in a non-intrusive way, and to avoid light pollution.
2.171 To protect the dark skies quality of the Lake District, sky glow or the brightening of the night sky, must be avoided alongside glare and light intrusion, also limiting adverse impacts on fauna and flora. Lighting, where required, must be designed to appropriate levels to provide the right level of light, at the right time, in the right place. Obtrusive light spillage must be avoided through appropriate angling of lights downwards across the intended area of illumination. Further guidance can be found in the ILE Guidance Notes.
2.172 The design of spaces and routes must encourage overlooking and passive surveillance. This must be considered in terms of landscaping and how green landscaping and trees will grow and impact visibility.
2.173 Where possible, the ground levels and topography of the site should be exploited to promote passive surveillance and overlooking of streets and public spaces.
2.174 Development must incorporate clearly defined edges between privately owned and publicly accessible spaces. This can be achieved through boundary features, planting, changes in level or surfacing material, for example. If public and private space is blurred, it can cause conflict and maintenance issues.
2.175 Every open space and area of public or private landscaping (whether hard of soft) should serve a clear purpose or function. Ill-defined spaces and landscaping are often misused, have a low sense of community ownership, are poorly managed and can become sources of conflict.
2.176 The layout of new development must avoid siting private rear gardens or other highly enclosed spaces (such as service yards) directly adjoining the highway or public realm. This runs counter to the principle of passive surveillance, exposes private spaces to potential trespass, and creates uninviting streets.
2.177 Private streets and shared driveways should include features such as gateway indicators, low boundary features or changes in landscaping or surfacing materials that subtly indicate the change from public space to shared private space.
2.178 Where there are boundary features, whether these are hedges, low walls or railings, these must be robust and resistant to damage or vandalism.
2.179 Detailed housing design should proactively consider where occupiers may locate external lighting, CCTV etc and consider where these would be sited, and cables run. Light pollution, such as upward light spill, must be avoided by directing light downwards. More guidance can be found in the Institution of Lighting Professionals ILE Guidance Notes.
Active frontages at ground and upper floors. Hawkshead.
Passive surveillance and a clear edge to the private garden. Askham.
Passive surveillance from houses looking along and down the lane. Clear edges to gardens.
The public space of the street is well overlooked by the houses along it, reducing the fear of crime.
Here, private rear gardens adjoin the main road the effect of this making the street feel isolated is lessened by the number of first floor windows that provide passive surveillance. Grasmere.
A modest railing and gate are all that is needed to create defensible, semi-private space. Broughton.
Rather than being a physical or barrier to people seeing into or getting onto private land, many boundary features are symbolic and mark the threshold between public and private space.
Here at Pooley Bridge the side elevation of this house has a combination of a low wall and boulders and shrubs to mark where public space ends and private space begins.
The combination of front doors and windows gives this row of houses an active frontage.
Although narrow and winding, this tight space is not intimidating due to the number of houses that have active frontages overlooking it.
Here the high fence provides security and privacy for the rear garden, but the street is not overlooked in any way, making it less attractive.
Here a change in paving material from the bitmac of the public highway to the block paving of the shared private drive provide a subtle indication of where the privately-owned space begins.
Cumbria County Council’s Cumbria Development Design Guide sets out the local-level principal source of guidance on the design of highways, including footways and cycleways, in the Lake District. It was most recently updated in January 2023. The Design Guide and its appendices contain many specific aspects of highway design and connecting places. This Design Code has re-iterated some of the key areas of this guidance that relates to the types of development covered by this Design Code.
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M.1.i Street Network
2.180 Smaller schemes or infill sites (fewer than 5 houses) must:
Connect with the wider street network and existing access points, ideally linking at either end to other street.
Understand and respond to natural desire lines.
Deliver convenient walking and cycling access through the site that is equally, if not more direct than driving.
Connect with and enhance access to any existing public rights of way or cycle routes.
Provide variety and choice, both in terms of routes and modes of travel.
Offer direct and safe connections to existing streets, amenities and destinations.
Where possible, enhance connections through existing development and minimise the use of cul-de-sacs.
Ensure passive surveillance by surrounding properties.
Have more than one pedestrian / cyclist access point, and where possible have more than one vehicular access point.
2.181 In addition, schemes of 5 dwellings or more must also where possible, have more than one vehicular access point, ideally linking at either end to other streets.
2.184 New streets must take cues from how topography is addressed on streets within the surrounding area to ensure the scheme integrates with the existing settlement. Where open and attractive views are afforded from a development site, the sloping topography can be used to celebrate those views.
2.185 Streets are useful tools for framing views and, similarly, their orientation should take cues from the surrounding area.
Streets are useful tools for framing views and, similarly, their orientation is to take cues from the surrounding area
Private gardens should utilise mature shrub and tree species to create visual interest, year-round structure and wildlife refuge.
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 (see section N.3.iii Street Trees for examples of suitable species).
Where boundary features are required to plots and/or sites, the following types of boundary features are to be used:
Buildings stepping down hillsides is a common feature of the Lake District. Threlkeld.
Stepped buildings reinforce the grain of buildings and add visual interest. Threlkeld.
Stepped buildings often mean communal car parking is a better solution than each house having a driveway. Threlkeld.
Where there is a lack of level ground, buildings were often built along the contour. Coniston.
Here at Askham, the elevated highway in front of the buildings is for access, while the through road is in the middle of the green.
Building approximately along the contour here at Threlkeld has created a decisive edge to the village.
Part of Coniston’s character are the terraces set at different heights but built generally along the contours.
Building along the contour along the top of the site has allowed for a gentler slope for the highway and more on-street parking. Hawkshead
The view of the hillside is an attractive terminal feature of this suburban street. Ambleside.
The wooded foreground and mountainous backdrop connect this street to nature and the landscape. Keswick.
This street has both a building and the spectacular backdrop of the fells forming the terminal feature of the vista. Keswick.
On a smaller scale, the wind of the road between the built forms offers a glimpse of a distant hillside. Borrowdale.
M.1.iii Street Hierarchy
2.186 A clear street hierarchy helps to create navigable and character-led settlements. All new streets must be allocated to a typology in the street hierarchy, as set out below.
2.187 Where new streets are not created, schemes should be aware of the street typology they adjoin. This will ensure the appropriate design of the street frontage in terms of intended character, scale and function.
2.188 All new development, including extensions and conversions, should respond to the fundamental character of the street in which they are located and the position it occupies within the street hierarchy.
2.189 All developments must contribute towards the successful design and function of streets.
As a green and active form of travel, new development should make cycling safe and convenient.
The Lake District’s network of footpaths and public rights of way provides additional means of supporting active travel.
The built environment should make walking whether on foot, with a pram, sticks or wheelchair, an easy and attractive option.
M.2.ii Junctions and Crossings
2.194 All new development must contribute towards enhancing pedestrian crossing experiences if they transcend a desire line, for example, providing dropped kerbs or raised tables at all junctions with appropriate tactile paving.
2.195 Junctions must avoid overly engineered features or overly wide radii that contribute towards a vehicle-dominated character, particularly within rural locations.
2.196 Roundabouts or mini-roundabouts will not be accepted unless in exceptional circumstances.
2.197 Roads should meet as close to a right angle as possible.
2.198 Where appropriate, the additional space created by the use of tighter radii can be used to deliver green gateways into new streets or development.
2.199 All new development must contribute towards enhancing pedestrian crossing experiences if they transcend a desire line, for example, providing dropped kerbs or raised tables at all junctions with appropriate tactile paving.
2.200 If a new development of 5 dwellings or more adjoins a primary street or high street and relates to a natural desire line for pedestrians and cyclists, a formal crossing should be implemented. The type of crossing will depend on the context of the setting, i.e., town centre or rural fringes, and the safety considerations relating to road speeds.
2.201 Where new developments of 5 to 25 dwellings adjoin secondary streets or local streets and relate to a natural desire line for pedestrians and cyclists, the need or benefit of implementing a formal or informal crossing should be assessed. In some cases, traffic calming measures to slow vehicle speeds can be a suitable alternative to a crossing.
2.202 Over-engineering, signage and line markings should be kept to a minimum, whilst ensuring crossings are safe and tactile for all users.
2.203 Signalised crossings will only be used when other highway design measures provide an insufficient level of safety.
2.204 When designing new crossings, the following guidance and regulations must be adhered to:
A junction with an overly-wide radius which gives more space to vehicles and increases travelling distances for pedestrians where they are in a more vulnerable position on the carriageway, or creates a greater shift in the desire line.
A junction with a tighter radius which leads to only a slight shift in the pedestrian desire line, as well as reducing the dominance of the highway. This can provide more space for repairing the urban grain of the street or creating a new green space/gateway.
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The design of junctions must reflect the typology of streets that are meeting. In all cases, they must explore how pedestrians and cyclists can be prioritised. They must also contribute positively towards changes in drivers’ behaviour when transferring from one road typology to another, without the need for excessive signage.
Junctions must avoid overly engineered features or overly wide radii that contribute towards a vehicle-dominated character, particularly within rural locations. Roundabouts or mini-roundabouts will not be accepted unless in exceptional circumstances.
Roads should meet as close to a right angle as possible. Where appropriate, the additional space created by the use of tighter radii can be used to deliver green gateways into new streets or development.
All new development must contribute towards enhancing pedestrian crossing experiences if they transcend a desire line, for example, providing dropped kerbs or raised tables at all junctions with appropriate tactile paving.
Over-engineering, signage and line markings are to be kept to a minimum, whilst ensuring crossings are safe and tactile for all users.
Textured paving and setted junctions make all road users aware of this crossing.
Blister paving, dropped kerbs and a minimisation of clutter minimises obstacles to pedestrians.
Kerb-less spaces provide fewer obstacles for people with mobility impairments and have a more informal character
Where kerbs are removed, other street furniture, such as these planters, can be used to deter car parking.
Where there are kerbs, dropped kerbs and raised crossings can provide convenient pedestrian crossings that are as level as possible.
A simple change in material and provision of a cobble ‘rumble strip’ provides a clear change from carriageway to shared space.
The same principle has been applied here, but to distinguish private drives from the public road.
Step-free changes between different areas of public realm improve accessibility for all pedestrians.
M.3.i Car Parking
2.215 New development should make suitable provision for electric vehicle charging points, including providing charging points for in-curtilage parking spaces, and charging points in new areas of on street or communal parking.
2.216 The character of the Lake District’s landscape and townscape makes surface car parking out of keeping in most locations. Where car parking is required, the following options should be considered ahead of surface car parking:
Parking provided under shelters or structures, or integrated in buildings
Dispersed rather than concentrated areas of car parking
Informal spaces that can be used for parking
Screening surface car parks from the wider landscape with building, boundary features or landscaping
1. Car parking spaces must be within 50m of the dwellings they serve.
2. The siting of car parking spaces serving dwellings is to be:
2a.To the sides of dwellings as the first resort.
2b. If not, as on-street parking, especially if parked cars help to calm car speeds.
2c. If not, in front of dwellings.
2d. If not, in communal parking areas serving more than one dwelling.
3. Parking spaces covered by roofed structures or car ports or within garages must be to the sides of dwellings. These covered parking area should have at least 2.6m headroom.
4. New development must make suitable provision for electric vehicle charging points, including providing charging points for in-curtilage parking spaces, and charging points in new areas of on street or communal parking.
5. Communal parking areas serving more than one house must:
5a. Be well overlooked by the dwellings they serve
5b. Provide convenient access to the dwellings they serve
5c. Improve amenity by enabling more of the site to be used for green open space, tree cover, space for play or gardens than otherwise
5d. Have suitable hard or soft landscaped immediate surroundings. Communal parking must not detract from the townscape or landscape quality of its surroundings, especially in smaller settlements and adjoining countryside.
5e. Enable new development to respond better to the established layout and character of the area than otherwise
Where the above criteria are met, communal car parking is to be prioritised over providing dispersed car parking.
A small, well-screened courtyard provides off-street parking for these four houses, with additional on street spaces. Hawkshead.
At this small scheme an informal communal drive for four houses is well screened and has a single access. Rosthwaite.
Rather than each house having a drive or having one large car park, here spaces are dispersed, but close to the houses. Threlkeld.
In this rural context simple informal laybys provide convenient parking. Borrowdale.
A line of parking spaces along the top and informal on street parking along the street provides options for residents and visitors. Hawkshead.
In villages, a simple, informal space for cars to pull in is a better alternative to private driveways, which can look suburban and out of place.
A combination of driveways between houses and an informal space for parking means the street space is not over-engineered in this rural location. Rosthwaite.
Drives between houses and side car ports avoids cluttering the street – and blocking views – with parked cars. Pooley Bridge.
Here, spaces to the sides of houses are complemented by informal on street parking. Staveley.
In this large car park, landscaping and retained mature trees soften the visual impact of the car park. Glenridding.
The shared drive and car park for these four bungalows is made less prominent through the site’s topography and vegetation. Windermere.
M.3.ii Cycle Parking
In built bike racks should be delivered within any building which has garages / car ports.
Cycle storage must be discreetly sited and designed to avoid clutter. Storage that is internal or integral to the building is recommended as a means of reducing clutter and making cycle travel more convenient.
Storage needs to be secure with access for residents only. Well located (close to the building entrance) and covered.
Cycle racks and stands allow both the frame and one wheel to be secured.
This simple lean-to could be used to store bikes and suits the vernacular character of the house. Rosthwaite.
Here the double-doored storage space has been integrated into the house design. Pooley Bridge.
Here the storage space has been conveniently integrated into the porch. Pooley Bridge.
Subservient outbuildings can offer flexible space to store bikes, bins, and garden furniture and equipment. Hawkshead.
M.3.iii Services & Utilities
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Refuse storage is to be carefully integrated into all new development to ensure its easy use, whilst also reducing its impact on the street scene.
All bin stores are to accommodate the bins, bags and/or boxes supplied by the local authority.
Covered bin stores which utilise green technology, for example green roofs and walls could be explored, as well as stores made of natural and context-appropriate materials, such as timber, slate and stone.
The cabinets and boxes for gas meters and other utilities should be conveniently but discretely located so that they do not clutter elevations.
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