Windermere Gateway Transport Infrastructure Delivery

Welcome to our Windermere Gateway Transport Infrastructure Delivery Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Our ambition is to secure a transformational gateway for Windermere which sustainably connects to the onward travel network and contributes to the vibrancy of the town by delivering housing and employment opportunities.

This SPD was adopted on the 15 December 2021. On the page below you will find  the content of the SPD. Supporting its adoption are the following documents:

Adoption Statement (pdf)

Windermere Gateway Consultation Responses (pdf)

Click on the image below to enlarge it

Illustrative map of Windermere with the 13 areas for planned improvements.

Windermere town with 13 key areas of planned improvement. See the details in the 13 images in the gallery below.
Illustrations courtesy of Planit-ie.com, influenced by Alfred Wainwright.

  • A totem style statue in the middle of a road crossing.

    1. Upgrading the circulation of people and transport at Windermere Station.

  • Booths entrance

    2. Accessing Booths via a new road crossing the railway line.

  • Close up of stone laid roundabout

    3. Help traffic flow by creating two new roundabouts.

  • A crowd of people walking out of a railway station exit to the road

    4. Supporting the proposed passing loop, by increasing the capacity of the Lakes Line.

  • An information panel and map outside Windermere Railway Station.

    6. Improving Windermere Station facilities.

  • Windermere Railway Station car park

    5. Unlocking the potential for additional public car parking.

  • Wide pavement with someone sat on a bench looking out to the lakeshore.

    7. Creating better and more direct and walking and cycling links to the town centre.

  • Trees and seating in a pedestrian city area.

    9. Creating a sense of arrival, by improving Station facilities and parking, to encourage the use of sustainable travel choices.

  • Electric car charging point in Glenridding car park.

    8. Providing additional electric vehicle charging points.

  • A stone building with modern stone paving outside.

    10. Reinforcing the sense of place and enhanced character whilst protecting the setting of the heritage assets.

  • Man sat on a bench with tall grasses and meadow plants behind.

    11. Designing sustainable surface water drainage strategies.

  • A white farmhouse cottage.

    12. Providing local and affordable housing, and employment opportunities at the Orrest Head Farm site CSE01M.

  • A hand-painted sign in a meadow flower bed next to a visitors entrance building.

    13. Creating open spaces and green infrastructure.

Figure 1: The boundary of the Lake District National Park.

© Lake District National Park Authority.  Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2021.

Mapping © Lake District National Park Authority.  © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198.  You are permitted to use this data solely to enable you to respond to, or interact with, the organisation that provided you with the data.  You are not permitted to copy, sub-licence, distribute or sell any of this data to third parties in any form.

This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) relates to the gateway to Windermere which includes Windermere Railway Station and Bus Terminus and the surrounding land occupied by Booths and Lakeland and the site at Orrest Head Farm, which is allocated for a mixed use development. Please see figure 2 below. It does not cover areas beyond the red line, including Windermere Town Centre or onward travel.

This SPD provides additional guidance to support:

  • Policy 13: “Central and South East Distinctive Area”;
  • Policy 14: "Allocations of Land";
  • Policy 21: “Sustainable Access and Travel”;
  • Allocation CSE01M: “Land at Orrest Head Farm, Windermere” of the Lake District Local Plan; and
  • Other relevant national and Local Plan policies.

Contextual information supporting this SPD is provided in the supporting technical documents. Further detail will be provided at the planning application stage for both the access proposals and the mixed use development at Orrest Head Farm.

Map showing the site location of Windermere Gateway

Figure 2: Supplementary Planning Document Area

Allocations of Land © Lake District National Park Authority. © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198.

The primary purpose of the SPD is to ensure a strategic and co-ordinated approach to transport, travel and movement infrastructure provision within the Windermere Gateway area that facilitates the delivery of:

  • The enhancement of Windermere Station and its role as a sustainable transport interchange in line with Local Plan policy 13; and
  • The development of Orrest Head Farm as a mixed use site for housing, employment and tourism in line Policy 14 and its allocation (Local Plan reference CSE01M).

Contextual information supporting this SPD is provided in the supporting documents. Further detail will be provided at the planning application stage for both the access proposals and the mixed use development at Orrest Head Farm.

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The Vision

The layout of the current vehicular access from the A591 to Windermere Station and the adjacent Booths is inefficient, and the Booths access adds traffic to the existing one way system in Windermere town centre. There are capacity constraints associated with the current junction layout. Pedestrian and cyclist mobility between Orrest Head Farm and the transport hub is also restricted. Movement between Windermere Station and Windermere town centre is also restricted, including to pedestrians and cyclists. This has a negative impact on the sense of arrival into the World Heritage Site.

The vision is therefore to:

Establish a transformational new gateway for Windermere which sustainably connects to the onward travel network and significantly contributes to the vibrancy of the town by delivering affordable and local needs housing, employment opportunities, and improved sustainable travel opportunities for residents and visitors. The intervention will deliver design excellence, sensitive to the world class landscape in which it is situated.

Illustration showing vision for development in Windermere

Illustration of the vision for Windermere Gateway

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Existing Constraints

In response to the area’s context and characteristics, the following provides a summary of the key constraints presented by the area, as illustrated in the diagrams.

Access and movement

Figure 3: Access, movement and arrival.

PROW © Lake District National Park Authority (working copy). © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198.

Traffic and movement

The layout of the current vehicular access from the A591 to Windermere Station and the adjacent Booths is inefficient, and Booths store access adds traffic to the existing one way system in Windermere town centre. There are capacity constraints associated with the current junction layout. Pedestrian and cyclist mobility between Orrest Head Farm and the transport hub is also restricted. Movement between Windermere Station and Windermere town centre is also restricted, including to pedestrians and cyclists.

Figure 4: Connectivity from Windermere

Public transport infrastructure

There is limited existing parking and drop-off at Windermere Station restricting the attraction of rail use, and limited space for buses and taxis. There are constraints accessing and egressing Windermere Station, and lack of canopies on the platform.

  • Cars driving at a busy road junction

    Congestion leading to A591.

  • Entrance to a supermarket

    Existing, discreet entrance to Booths.

  • Roadside entrance to a railway station

    Windermere train station arrival area, with bus terminus. Large amounts of signage adding to the street clutter and disrupting the arrival experience.

  • Windermere Railway Station car park

    Existing car-parking facilities at Windermere Train Station are not adequate for demand in peak times.

  • Parked cars and traffic on a busy road

    Congestion along the high street.

  • A crowd of people walking out of a railway station exit to the road

    Tourists arriving at Windermere Train Station.

  • An information panel and map outside Windermere Railway Station.

    Windermere Train Station entrance with existing wayfinding signage.

  • Graphic showing train times and frequency from Windermere.

    Train connectivity from Windermere.

  • A road junction with lots of traffic.

    High Street / Church Street junction.

  • Booths supermarket car park looking towards the railway.

    The railway looking from Booths car-park, currently there is no direct route from Windermere station to Booths supermarket.

Heritage and sense of place

Figure 5: Heritage and sense of place

Listed Building extents and Conservation Areas © Lake District National Park Authority and Historic England.  © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198.

Heritage assets

The Lake District has World Heritage Status, the SPD area is located within and adjoining the Windermere Conservation Area and there are listed buildings within the area and on the adjoining the Orrest Head Farm site.

Public realm at Windermere Station

The existing station lacks a sense of arrival into the World Heritage Site.

  • A white farmhouse cottage.

    Grade II listed Orrest Head Farmhouse.

  • A row of stone cottages.

    Grade II listed The Terrace.

  • A stone wall with a stone built hotel behind.

    Grade II listed Windermere Hotel.

  • A canopy over the entrance to Windermere Rail Station.

    Windermere Station forecourt / Canopy of Special Character

  • A stone built three storey building.

    Building of Special Character along High Street.

  • A dry stone wall.

    Stone walls in Windermere are a key feature of the landscape.

  • Traditional stone wall at a farm.

    Traditional stone wall at Alice Howe Farm.

  • Entrance gateway between stone walls

    Entrance to grade II listed Orrest Head House.

  • A damaged traditional dry stone wall on a farm.

    A damaged traditional dry stone wall on a farm.

  • A stone laid drainage channel.

    Landscape features incorporate stone distinctive to the area.

  • A stone built building on Windermere High Street.

    Grade II listed No 1 High Street.

Landscape character, flooding and topography

Figure 6: Flooding, Topography and Key Views

© Lake District National Park Authority.  © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198.

Flood Zones © Environment Agency copyright 2021. All rights reserved.

Topography

The SPD area slopes from north to south with the northern portions of the area more visually sensitive due to their elevated position.

Flood risk and drainage

The area is in flood risk zone one however areas of surface water flood risk will need to be mitigated and a resilient sustainable drainage system must be provided for.

Landscape

The landscape character and wider views of Lake Windermere must be safeguarded.

Landscape character

Figure 7: Landscape character

Landscape Character Assessment and Conservation Areas © Lake District National Park Authority.  © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198. SSSI and ASNW © Natural England copyright. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2021.  County Wildlife Sites © CBDC 2021

  • View from a road across fields to a lake.

    View from A591 looking towards Lake Windermere.

  • View across a roof top with buildings behind.

    View E, from Booths car-park entrance, looking towards Lake Windermere.

  • View over old farm buildings to a lake in the distance.

    View A, Orrest Head farmhouse and outbuildings, looking towards Lake Windermere.

  • Railway line with fells on the horizon.

    View from the prow crossing the railway, looking towards the surrounding hills.

  • View across fields to a lake and fells beyond.

    View B, along prow and stone wall, looking towards surrounding hills and Lake Windermere.

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Opportunities

Figure 8: Opportunities

Listed Building extents and Conservation Areas © Lake District National Park Authority and Historic England.  © Crown copyright and database rights 2021 Ordnance Survey 100026198. Cycle Routes © Sustrans 2015.  Contains Ordnance Survey data.

There is the opportunity to create a new strategic gateway for Windermere, improving the transfer of people form one mode of travel to another at the transport hub at and around Windermere Station and supporting traffic and movement improvements by:

  • Improving the circulation of people and transport at Windermere Station with a new access road to the station, Booths and Lakeland;
  • Removing some of the traffic accessing Booths from the Windermere’s one way system by accessing Booths’ car park from a new road crossing the railway line;
  • Addressing vehicle conflicts and safety issues at A591/High Street and Thwaites lane junctions, and increasing junction capacity, including to help address parking generally in Windermere (such as existing residents near the station) and serve the modal shift to other forms of transport;
  • Unlocking the potential for decking at Booths car park to provide additional public car parking capacity;
  • Improving Windermere Station facilities, and bus, taxi and drop off provision to support transfer of people to onward travel;
  • Prioritising better and more direct walking and cycling links to Windermere town centre from the station and Orrest Head Farm site; and
  • Providing additional electric vehicle charging points.

Public transport infrastructure and public realm

This could be improved to create a sense of arrival to improve the experience for visitors and residents, including improved Station facilities and parking to encourage the use of sustainable travel choices.

Lakes Line

Improvements to the Windermere Gateway Area will help to increase the capacity of the Lakes Line, supporting the proposed passing loop.

Design

The area can provide high quality development that reinforces the sense of place and enhances character whilst protecting the setting of the heritage assets.

Drainage

Delivery of a comprehensive surface water drainage strategy which incorporates SUDS.

Local and affordable housing, and employment opportunities

The allocated site at Orrest Head Farm can deliver local needs and local affordable needs housing as well as employment opportunities.

Open space and green infrastructure

There is an opportunity to create open spaces and green infrastructure that will provide safe and functional informal recreation opportunities for existing and local residents and visitors.

Implementation and delivery

This document puts in place a vision for the Windermere Station gateway for the next five years and beyond. This Supplementary Planning Document is intended to be a strategic guide to the future delivery of transport, travel and movement infrastructure provision within the Windermere Gateway area that facilities the delivery of:

  • The enhancement of Windermere Station and its role as a transport interchange in line with Local Plan policy 13; and
  • The development of Orrest Head Farm as a mixed use site for housing, employment and tourism in line with its Policy 14 and its allocation (Local Plan reference CSE01M). The highway improvements proposed are linked to bringing this site forward for development. The delivery of these highway improvements, as well as local need and local affordable housing are key public benefits.

Projects and Funding

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan and ongoing project development through the preparation of this Supplementary Planning Document has been used to inform the required projects and funding sources. The next piece of work is to understand in greater detail the costs of each piece of infrastructure.

Timescales and phasing

Windermere Gateway has been developed in an integrated manner, with access, interchange and housing each critical to the success and sustainability of this proposal and the benefits it is intended to unlock for Windermere and surrounding communities. Delivery will also need to be achieved comprehensively with this especially important with respect to the relationship between housing development and wider infrastructure.

Developer contributions and grant funding will be important in respect to the comprehensive delivery of the gateway area. The new housing development must deliver essential enabling and access infrastructure, while working with the Local Planning Authority to establish a clear and deliverable funding strategy for the delivery of the comprehensive scheme, and this would include the exploration of additional grant funding opportunities. The housing development cannot be considered in isolation.

While an approach to phasing is suggested, this relates to indicative delivery timescales and does not remove the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to securing delivery of the entire proposal.

Phase 1 (2022-2025)

A591 / Thwaites Lane Junction

Thwaites Lane junction and highways improvements to form a roundabout and new highway access to the station.

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed
  • Initial highway design and modelling undertaken

Funding Sources:

  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)
  • Landowners

Thwaites Lane / Claife Avenue

Highway measures to manage traffic if required

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed

Funding Sources:

  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)
  • Grant funding

Improved Walking and Cycling Connections (CSE01M site to Windermere Station)

Improved cycling and walking connections linking the site allocation CSE01M to the Station, onward travel and existing network

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed

Funding Sources:

  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)
  • Landowners

Surface water drainage infrastructure

Improved surface water drainage infrastructure associated with site CSE01M and Thwaites Lane improvements.

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed

Funding Sources:

  • Landowners
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)

Open space and green infrastructure

Provision of open space and green infrastructure within the Orrest Head Farm site CSE01M.

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed

Funding Sources:

  • Landowners
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)

Affordable and local needs housing

Provision of affordable and local needs houses through delivery of site allocation CSE01M.

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed
  • Developer appointed for site CSE01M

Funding Sources:

  • Landowners and developers
  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)

Phase 2 (2025-2029)

Windermere Station Transport Hub

Station and interchange hub improvements, and public realm enhancement.

Progress to date:

  • Engagement with Network Rail
  • Initial list of projects identified

Funding Sources:

  • Landowners
  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)

Railway Line changes and new pedestrian/vehicle crossing

Moving rail buffers back to create crossing opportunity for pedestrians/vehicles

Progress to date:

  • Engagement with Network Rail
  • Initial list of projects identified

Funding Sources:

  • Landowners
  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)

Windermere A591/High Street

Highway measures to manage traffic

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed
  • Initial highway design and modelling undertaken

Funding Sources:

  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)
  • Landowners

Road from A591 / Thwaites Lane to Windermere Station

Access improvements to provide new station access road

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed
  • Initial highway design and modelling undertaken

Funding Sources:

  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)
  • Landowners

Employment and commercial leisure space

Provision of employment and commercial and leisure space through delivery of site allocation CSE01M.

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed
  • Developer appointed for site CSE01M

Funding Sources:

  • Landowners and developers
  • Grant funding

Improved Walking and Cycling Connections (Station to the town centre and other onward travel routes.)

Improved cycling and walking connections linking the Station to the town centre and other onward travel routes.

Progress to date:

  • Stakeholder Group formed

Funding Sources:

  • Grant funding
  • Developer contributions (e.g. section 106 agreements)
  • Landowners

Partners

We will continue to work with Cumbria County Council, Network Rail, Lakeland, Booths, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Windermere Town Council, South Lakeland District Council, the National Trust and their preferred development partner for the Orrest Head Farm site to deliver the projects to deliver Windermere Station Gateway.

The logos of the partners involved in the Windermere Gateway project

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Supporting Technical Documents

To support the preparation of the Supplementary Planning Document a number of technical reports have been prepared.

Transport and movement

Heritage