What we're trying to achieve

[3.24.01] We want to protect the landscape and character of lakes and lakeshores from inappropriate development.

Policy 24: Lakeshore development

We want to protect the landscape and character of lakes and lakeshores.

We will only permit lakeshore development where:

  • the development provides facilities or services that have a direct lake use function for recreation or water-based transport purposes; and
  • the applicant demonstrates that alternative non-lakeshore solutions are not feasible or viable; and
  • the scale, siting, and design of the development enhances or maintains the character of the lake and its lakeshore location, including undeveloped stretches of lakeshore; and
  • the development does not have an adverse impact on lake navigation; and
  • the development does not have an adverse impact on lake water quality.

Implementation guidance

[3.24.04] Each lake and lakeshore has a different landscape character and level of use, and we will consider these issues when making any development decisions. We will use the Lake District Landscape Character Assessment to inform decisions on applications for lakeshore development.

[3.24.05] There is pressure on some lakes for boathouse development. The cumulative effects of increasing numbers of boathouses can adversely impact on lakeshore character. When assessing proposals for lakeshore development, we will consider the scale, siting and the cumulative impacts of the development on lakeshore character.

[3.24.06] Proposals should consider how the effects of high and low water levels would affect the development and adaptation measures that have been put in place to ensure resilience to these effects. Low water levels, exacerbated by further draw down at times of drought, will affect the economic functioning of some lakes, particularly Windermere. At times of draw down, the infrastructure of jetties, slipways and moorings on lakes are placed at risk, not being able to perform as designed. By considering high and low water levels at the planning application stage we can ensure development is resilient to the effects of climate change.

[3.24.07] The water quality of the lake is an important aspect of its character as over enrichment with nutrients can cause long term changes in the visual appearance of the lakes. Many of the lakeshore areas are not served by public sewer so any new development would need to be served by individual sewage treatment plants. These are less effective at controlling nutrient inputs into the lake than United Utilities’ sewage treatment works therefore applicants should demonstrate how the development will not affect water quality. Any lakeshore development may require a Construction Management Plan to demonstrate the measures to avoid water pollution during construction.

Current situation

[3.24.02] Lakes are a key feature of the Lake District landscape and we want to protect lakes and lakeshores from inappropriate development. However, we recognise that there are some developments that require a lakeshore location.

[3.24.03] The attractiveness of lakeshore sites means that there is significant development pressure on lakeshores which are vulnerable to disturbance, pollution and the direct impact of development activities. Demand for lakeshore development is higher on some lakes than others, particularly those lakes that are adjacent to settlements or that are popular for recreational activities.