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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congestion leading to A591.
Existing, discreet entrance to Booths.
Windermere train station arrival area, with bus terminus. Large amounts of signage adding to the street clutter and disrupting the arrival experience.
Existing car-parking facilities at Windermere Train Station are not adequate for demand in peak times.
Congestion along the high street.
Tourists arriving at Windermere Train Station.
Windermere Train Station entrance with existing wayfinding signage.
Train connectivity from Windermere.
High Street / Church Street junction.
The railway looking from Booths car-park, currently there is no direct route from Windermere station to Booths supermarket.
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.
Grade II listed Orrest Head Farmhouse.
Grade II listed The Terrace.
Grade II listed Windermere Hotel.
Windermere Station forecourt / Canopy of Special Character
Building of Special Character along High Street.
Stone walls in Windermere are a key feature of the landscape.
Traditional stone wall at Alice Howe Farm.
Entrance to grade II listed Orrest Head House.
A damaged traditional dry stone wall on a farm.
Landscape features incorporate stone distinctive to the area.
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.
Improvements to the Windermere Gateway Area will help to increase the capacity of the Lakes Line, supporting the proposed passing loop.
The area can provide high quality development that reinforces the sense of place and enhances character whilst protecting the setting of the heritage assets.
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.
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 is estimated as 2022-2025. Phase 2 is estimated as 2025-2029
A591 / Thwaites Lane Junction - Phase 1
Thwaites Lane junction and highways improvements to form a roundabout and new highway access to the station.
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 Lake District National Park Authority looks after this unique corner of England, encouraging people to enjoy and understand its beauty and helping those who live and work here. Our staff include rangers and field workers, advisers at our visitor centres, planners and ecologists.