Coniston byelaws exemption process

Exemption policy and applications, information and evaluation criteria.

Policy Introduction

The speed limit is a fundamental element of the Coniston Water Byelaws. And the proposed Byelaws 6 and 7 although allowing the Authority to grant permission for exemptions from the speed limits is not intended to provide a mechanism to allow events and activities to take place that the Byelaws are designed to manage, control or prevent.

Exemptions to the Coniston Water speed limit will be rare and the exception - they will only be permitted where:

1. Safety and the environment are not compromised.

This will mean that satisfactory safety consideration is proven, including adequate risk assessments and mitigation; environmental disturbance is minimised, including the impact on tranquillity or areas of nature conservation. Pollution has to be avoided at all times with adequate safeguards demonstrated.

2. An exempted activity or event has a special relevance for taking place on Coniston Water.

Exempted events and activities will be the exception rather than the norm. And the activity or event is special to the area and its communities of Coniston water and Coniston and cannot be appropriately accommodated elsewhere.

Any proposal will have to show how a speed limit exemption will add demonstrable and relevant value.

To do this - applicants will need to demonstrate, amongst other things, how the intended activity or event will meet all outcomes of the Vision for the Lake District and any other relevant local plans and policies. And where an exemption is being sought for an event or activity then the applicant will also be expected to show how:

  • Benefits to the local economy will be maximised
  • Local communities and lake users are involved and fully engaged
  • Spectators and visitors will have access or enjoy activities in sustainable ways

3. The exemption activity or event achieves real benefits without compromising other lake users.

Applicants will be expected to agree with the Authority how the event will be monitored, including - measuring of impacts and benefits, prior to, during and after the event or activity. The cumulative impact of allowing more than one exemption in any one calendar year will be considered. And any exemption should avoid the use of the lake during busy periods.

Making an exemption application

The following information will be required from applicants. It is recommended that all prospective applicants have an informal discussion with the relevant authority staff about their proposed event prior to a formal application.

A. Background information required:

  • Applicant (name, organisation and contact details)
  • Event or activity details (include proposed dates, timings and purpose).

B. Strategic relevance and appropriateness of the proposed activity or event:

  • Statement with supportive evidence to demonstrate how the activity or event contributes to the Vision and Outcomes of the Lake District National Park Partnership Plan.
  • Evidenced statement that describes how the activity or event will achieve one or more of the Vision outcomes and how it will be managed to mitigate any negative impacts on the outcomes including: a prosperous economy; world class visitor experiences; vibrant communities and a spectacular landscape, wildlife and cultural heritage.
  • Additional information to demonstrate how the activity or event will help to support and / or deliver any other policies or plans which are deemed relevant.

C. Health, safety and wellbeing:

  • Provision of relevant and comprehensive risk assessments for the proposed activity / event.
  • Provision of relevant management action plans to protect the general public and participants; mitigating risks and issues identified in the activity / event risk assessments.
  • Provision of evidence to demonstrate that relevant insurance cover is in place for the proposed activity / event.
  • Provision of evidence to demonstrate how the proposed activity or event organisers will satisfy the requirements of any relevant governing or supervisory body’s advice, guidance and / or protocols for undertaking that activity or event.

D. Environmental protection:

  • Provision of relevant environmental and amenity impact assessments undertaken.
  • Provision of environmental impact action plan to protect and mitigate any impacts on the natural environment and control pollution risks.
  • Provide details of action to be undertaken to manage and control the spread of invasive species.

E. Challenges and opportunities:

  • State the potential benefits and any negative impacts for the local economy and how they will be realised and addressed if needed.
  • State the potential benefits and any negative impacts for the local community and how they will be realised and addressed if needed.

F. Respecting all lake users:

  • Identify other lake users who may be impacted by the proposed activity / event and state how their rights to undertake their legitimate activities will be protected.

G. Supporting information:

  • Include any other any other information in support of the event / activity exemption application. For example - maps, photographs or letters of support.

Evaluating an exemption application

The following steps will be applied:

Step one - preliminary

Recommended that all potential applicants talk to the relevant Park Management Leader about their proposed event or activity. This should include possible concerns or issues which may arise, and how they could be addressed. And to provide an indication of the likelihood of an exemption being approved for the proposed event or activity before a formal application is made.

Step two - formal application

Applicant to complete a valid application form that provides sufficient and reasonable information (see the section above) that allows a member of staff to fully understand it, undertake consultation, and then be able to evaluate the application and present a recommendation for – ‘approval’, ‘refusal’ or ‘approval with conditions’ to the Director of Sustainable Development.

Step three - evaluation stage one

Applicants to provide specific risk assessment and proposed mitigation activities to be undertaken. This needs to consider; general public, event or activity participants. And any key mitigation or compliance such as – marshalling, safety boats, insurance, competency qualifications, and conduct in relation to governing and supervisory conditions or guidance.

Applicants to provide relevant assessment and proposed mitigation activities to be undertaken for management of natural environment impacts and pollution risks. To include - noise and water pollution, and consider the effect on habitats and biodiversity.

Step four - evaluation stage two

Applicant to describe precisely the details of the proposed event or activity and its relationship to other lake activities and users, to consider:

  • Timing (time of year, day of week and time of day)
  • Duration of event or activity
  • Location of event or activity
  • Speeds involved
  • Numbers and type of craft
  • Frequency (one off, repeatable, number of times per year)
  • Ancillary facilities and services to support event or activity
  • Cumulative impact of total number of events and activity over time

Step five - evaluation stage three

An evidence based assessment by the applicant of the positive benefits that will be derived from the proposed activity in relation to the Vision and Outcomes for the national park and any other relevant local plans or policies. Specifically the aims for:

  • Visitor experience
  • Economy
  • Community
  • Spectacular landscape

There needs to be positive, clear and demonstrable outputs from any proposed event or activity. And certainly none that would compromise any individual outcome or the overall vision.

Step six - evaluation stage four

We will carry out a three week on-line consultation with the adjacent Parish Councils and key partners and local stakeholders.
Direct questions will be asked to establish a view on the proposed activity or event
Responses (objections and support) will be considered in relation to key matters defined in evaulation stages 1 and 2.

Step seven - determining the application

A report will be prepared that outlines the activity or event and the outcome of consultation. The acceptability of the application will be assessed in relation to the criteria stated in this approach and conclusion stated.

Finally a recommendation will be made for – ‘approval’, ‘refusal’ or ‘approval with conditions’ by the Director of Sustainable Development or to refer the matter to the Authority for its consideration.