Landscape Character Assessment Consultation

Consultation on the 2018 revision of the Lake District National Park Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines

This consultation closed on 15 July.

Next steps:

We will collate the comments received and make amendments to the document if there is sound justification and it is appropriate to do so. Any changes to the document will be subject to approval by Lake District National Park Authority Members.

The final Supplementary Planning Document will be presented to Lake District National Park Authority Members in October 2019 for formal adoption. It will then be used to guide decisions on proposals which may affect landscape change with immediate effect.

Why do we need a Supplementary Planning Document?

Supplementary Planning Documents should build upon and provide more detailed advice or guidance on policies in an adopted local plan.

This Supplementary Planning Document provides guidance on landscape character and, specifically, on the implementation of the Lake District Local Plan Policy ‘Protecting the spectacular landscape’.

What is the Supplementary Planning Document?

The Supplementary Planning Document comprises the Lake District National Park Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines, revised in 2018, which identifies, maps, and describes, in detail, the landscape character types and areas of distinctive character within the Lake District National Park.  These are unique landscapes and places, each with their own characteristics, sense of place, and particular landscape sensitivities.

The Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2018) provides an evidence base to inform decisions on proposals which may affect landscape change.  It assists landowners, developers, land managers, designers and others in making land use decisions and managing land that may affect built, cultural and natural landscapes.

The Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines reflects the principles of the European Landscape Convention which were adopted by the UK in 2007.

Specific applications of the Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2018) are to:

  • Influence the full extent of the land use planning system from strategic planning to the development management decision-making process.
  • Add to the transparency of the planning process by setting out a clear and systematic method of landscape assessment.
  • Provide essential guidance to land owners and managers, for example those implementing agri-environment schemes.
  • Provide a framework for sub-regional and local plans and strategies, and planning briefs.
  • Act as an evidence baseline for State of the Park reporting and identify critical indicators of change.
  • Act as an information resource for partners and the wider public.

What has changed?

This Supplementary Planning Document will replace the current Landscape Character Supplementary Planning Document which comprises the previous version of the Lake District National Park Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines, published in 2008.

In 2017 the Lake District National Park Partnership agreed to carry out a review of the Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2008) to extend it to the new areas of the National Park following the boundary change in 2016, and to reflect key additional evidence that has been published since 2008. A working group of partners comprising Lake District National Park Authority, Friends of the Lake District, Natural England, the National Trust, and the Forestry Commission managed this desk-based review and revision.

The National Park boundary changes in 2016 have resulted in the inclusion of larger areas of:

  • Areas of Distinctive Character 51 and 68 southwards around Brigsteer and Lyth valley
  • Area of Distinctive Character 69 south-eastwards, around Bretherdale and Borrowdale. 

The key additional evidence taken account of includes:

  • the World Heritage Site Nomination document
  • the Cumbria Biodiversity Evidence Base
  • the Cumbria Cumulative Impacts of Vertical Structures document.

The Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines has been updated to reflect the current forces for change affecting the National Park and Lake District National Park Management Plan ambitions.

See the full Lake District National Park Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2018)

The Revisions Log lists the revisions in the Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2018) compared with the previous Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2008).

Read the revisions log which lists the changes from the previous version

View a map showing the Landscape Character Assessment and Guidelines (2018) Areas of Distinctive Character and Landscape Character Types

What is the process and timetable?  

The Government requires that Supplementary Planning Documents are subject to consultation and adoption. They are not examined by an Inspector and not normally subject to a sustainability appraisal.

Monday 10 June 2019: Consultation begins   
Monday 15 July 2019, at 5pm: Consultation ends        
Wednesday 16 October: Final document to LDNP Authority