What we're trying to achieve

[3.01.01] We want to conserve and enhance the extraordinary harmony and beauty of the Lake District landscape, its Special Qualities, including the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.

Policy 01: National and international significance of the Lake District

The extraordinary harmony and beauty of the Lake District landscape and its Special Qualities, including the attributes of Outstanding Universal Value, will be conserved and enhanced.

We will achieve this by supporting development proposals which are consistent with National Park Purposes and Duty. If it appears that there is a conflict between National Park purposes, we shall attach greater weight to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District National Park.

All development proposals should protect or enhance the authenticity, integrity and significance of the Lake District.

Implementation guidance

[3.01.04] The Lake District is a nationally significant, special place and part of the cultural and natural heritage of the nation. As such, proposals for new development will need to be carefully located and designed so that they respect the ‘statutory purposes’ which underpin its status as a National Park.

[3.01.05] A Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) will be required to assess the impact of development proposals where the scale and nature of development may have a significant impact on the spectacular landscape, Special Qualities and attributes of Outstanding Universal Value. We will work with others to influence their plans, strategies and proposals to ensure that development outside the Lake District does not damage or harm its setting, or otherwise prejudice the achievement of National Park purposes.

[3.01.06] The Outstanding Universal Value of the Lake District World Heritage Site as agreed at inscription, including its authenticity and integrity, is a key material consideration when decisions are taken on applications for planning permission and other relevant applications, whether by the Authority, neighbouring Local Planning Authorities or the Planning Inspectorate and Ministers. Heritage assessments will be required in a number of cases, guidance on the preparation of these assessments can be found in our ‘Heritage Impact Assessment and information requirements practice guide’ available on our planning webpage.

Current situation

[3.01.02] National Parks are subject to the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. We identify the Special Qualities which distinguish the Lake District from other National Parks and other parts of the country. These Special Qualities were reviewed and revised during the preparation of the Management Plan 2015-2020.

[3.01.03] The attributes of Outstanding Universal Value identified upon inscription as a World Heritage Site all reflect the Special Qualities that distinguish the Lake District as a UK National Park. There are inevitably pressures for change, which must be accommodated sensitively and harmoniously. Development proposals affecting the Lake District including its setting will come under close scrutiny, usually by means of formal assessments and design statements, to ensure that immediate and long-term impacts are fully evaluated and will be compatible with National Park purposes (see introduction - The Purposes and Duty of National Parks).