What we're trying to achieve

[3.09.01] We want all development to effectively demonstrate the key themes of the Vision and reinforce the distinctiveness of place, whilst also enabling localised solutions to specific planning issues through the Distinctive Area policies.

Policy 13: Central and South East Distinctive Area

Development in the Central and South East Distinctive Area will reinforce distinctiveness of place, deliver key themes of the Vision and enable local solutions to specific planning issues.

To achieve this we will:

  • support development that retains the university campus at Ambleside and safeguards it for the purposes of further and higher education including the retention of student accommodation;
  • support small scale housing development in Longsleddale Valley to reflect the very rural and dispersed nature of the community and to support its long term sustainability;
  • support a public sewer along the A591 between Waterhead and Windermere;
  • support advertising (signage and lighting) that is sympathetic to the historic towns and buildings of Windermere and Ambleside;
  • support improvements to the existing public rights of way network in Lyth Valley and the Kent Estuary and between Arnside and Meathop, including the crossing of Arnside Viaduct;
  • support improvements to private coach parking at Rectory Road Coach Park. Visual improvements at this international visitor gateway are required as well as remodelling to improve capacity, and access and egress arrangements;
  • support enhancement of Windermere Station and its role as a transport interchange with capacity improvements, including a passing loop on the Lakes Line to improve rail services and enable electrification of the line;
  • secure the rejuvenation and conservation of ornamental parkland around Windermere lake which reinforce the picturesque landscape;
  • secure improvements through development which deliver the allocated strategic regeneration site — Bowness Bay and The Glebe;
  • support appropriate reuse or redevelopment of the former University of Cumbria satellite site, Hilltop, for alternative uses;
  • support appropriate schemes which facilitate landscape recovery at existing caravan sites/parks to reflect their sensitive and inspirational setting;
  • support appropriate solutions to car and coach parking problems and traffic management in Windermere;
  • support appropriate additional parking provision at existing car parks in Ambleside and Bowness;
  • support appropriate regeneration of Ferry Nab to serve as a launch pad for recreation of Windermere lake and surrounding areas by sustainable transport. Improved connectivity with the adjacent Braithwaite Fold Car Park would be encouraged, alongside improved surface treatment of Braithwaite Fold Car Park to enable year round use;
  • support appropriate use of the former Windermere Aquatic boat sheds at Beech Hill for maintenance and boat storage facilities;
  • support appropriate further improvements and enhancement of the existing gardens and their facilities at Fell Foot Country Park, including improved sustainable transport connections from the site to Lakeside and other destinations;
  • support appropriate reconfiguration of the three existing hotel sites of Cragwood, Merewood and Briery Wood to offer collectively a unique visitor experience where it respects these villas and associated villa landscapes of the site and picturesque landscape. Opportunities to strengthen the sustainable linkages between sites and their surrounding areas will be sought;
  • support appropriate regeneration of Waterhead Marina to provide for an increase in overnight boat stays, both private and public. Any on-land redevelopment will need to reflect its critical location forming the southern entry into Ambleside.

Implementation guidance

[3.09.03] The Distinctive Area policies aim to deliver the four themes of the Vision across the Distinctive Areas in the Lake District, as well as deliver tailored solutions to specific planning issues being experienced in certain parts of the Lake District.

[3.09.04] Applications for planning permission will still be considered against all relevant polices in the Local Plan to determine the acceptability of the proposal. For certain developments a project level Habitats Regulation Assessment may also be required having regard to the impact pathways identified in the Appropriate Assessment (2019).

Current situation

[3.09.02] First developed in 2010, Distinctive Areas refine the Spatial Strategy by setting out our intended approach for each of the five Distinctive Areas of the Lake District. They reflect the subtly distinctive characteristics, specific issues and challenges of each area that are in some ways unique from one another, thus making the strategy innovative, clearly spatial and locally distinctive. Distinctive Area solutions are designed to address specific planning issues in each area that would otherwise be considered different to the overall approach of the generic policies.

Map showing the area of the site allocation

Figure 5: Lake District Distinctive Areas