What we're trying to achieve

[3.05.01] We want to conserve and enhance the extraordinary beauty and harmony of the Lake District landscape, and Special Qualities and its attributes of Outstanding Universal Value for future generations to enjoy.

Policy 05: Protecting the spectacular landscape

We will conserve and enhance the extraordinary beauty and harmony of the Lake District landscape, its Special Qualities and attributes of Outstanding Universal Value.

We will achieve this by supporting development:

  • that ensures the highest level of protection is given to the landscape, and
  • where the type, design, scale and level of activity maintains local distinctiveness, sense of place, and where appropriate, tranquillity.

Decisions will be guided by the Lake District Landscape Character Assessment recognising the distinctive characteristics identified in the Landscape Character Types and Areas of Distinctive Character, the World Heritage Site Nomination Document and the Historic Landscape Characterisation.

We will use development opportunities to reduce or remove existing landscape detractors.

Implementation guidance

[3.05.05] This policy will implement the intentions of the Principles of development by ensuring the spectacular landscape of the Lake District is not compromised by new development. The tranquillity of the countryside should be valued and protected from poor development decisions. New developments may create additional noise, particularly in the context of road traffic, industrial equipment and recreational activities, as well as during the construction phase, and should be considered when taking decisions on new development proposals.

[3.05.06] Woodlands are recognised as one of the Lake Districts most valuable scenic and wildlife assets. Development which involves or would lead to the clearance of or damage to semi-natural or amenity woodland or important trees will not normally be permitted. Policy 04: Biodiversity and geodiversity is also relevant to the removal of woodland.

[3.05.07] This policy provides an opportunity to use development proposals to reduce and remove existing landscape detractors. For example, it may be possible to combine communications infrastructure by sharing masts to reduce the impact on the landscape or an application for a large agricultural building may provide opportunity to consolidate less attractive buildings.

[3.05.08] 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 or attributes of Outstanding Universal Value. This evidence should be submitted with a planning application.

Current situation

[3.05.02] The Lake District is one of the world’s finest cultural landscapes. The spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Lake District is unique – and of such quality and universal value – that it entirely underpins how the area functions economically, socially and environmentally.

[3.05.03] The diversity of the landscape is key to its beauty and significance, and includes coast, lakes, distinctive farmland, fell, woodland, industrial activity and settlement. Each of the Lake District’s valleys has an individual distinctiveness based on landform, biodiversity and cultural heritage.

[3.05.04] Tranquillity is a quality of calm that people experience in places full of sights and sounds of nature, and National Parks are viewed as one of the best places to gain this experience. Tranquillity can be damaged by the intrusive sights and sounds of man-made structures such as new roads, poorly designed lighting and power lines.