[T]he Lake District National Park is today thanking the record number of local residents and businesses who took part in its recent Local Plan review. Throughout May and June more than 2,700 people reviewed planning policies and land allocations that could potentially have an impact on their future in the Lake District.
Steve Ratcliffe, Director of Sustainable Development at the Lake District National Park said: “We’re very grateful to all those who took the time to share their feedback with us. We rely on the input from everyone who lives, works and enjoys the Lake District to help us understand how this Local Plan Review can make a positive impact, both now and for the next 15 years. We were delighted to receive not only a great response rate but also high levels of support.”
The extensive pre-consultation publicity included: communicating with partners and stakeholders, local press announcements and advertising, social media marketing, email newsletter campaigns and providing all Lake District town and parish councils with posters for their notice boards.
Of the 2,700 responses received, the National Park strategy team:
- Received 1,500 responses to draft planning policies and 1,200 responses to site allocations
- Achieved an overall average support rate of 75 per cent for what the policies are trying to achieve
- Ran 10 drop-in events in locations such as Gosforth Primary School, Keswick Moot Hall and Pooley Bridge
- Ensured people had access to offline copies of the Local Plan at 13 community locations including libraries
Not only did the rate of response exceed expectations but also led to a surprising surge in young people getting involved, with 23 per cent of respondents being under 34 years old.
Steve added: “The aim of this Local Plan consultation was to engage with people of all ages and locations across the Lake District and by using some new methods, such as a social media campaign and short videos, we’ve been able to give everyone an opportunity to have their say. I’m delighted to see how our younger residents have engaged with the project and to see a real appetite among under 34 year olds to play a part in the future of their Lake District.”
“The Local Plan is all about the future state of the National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of course, some of the ideas and sites that we’ve asked people to consider have sparked a wider debate, and that’s exactly what we wanted from our Local Plan Review. Contemplating change is always difficult. But it is critical for the Plan to be forward-thinking and explore the challenges and opportunities that currently exist such as transport, climate change, affordable housing and job creation, whilst continuing to conserve and enhance the harmony and beauty of the Lake District landscape.
“We can’t do this alone, it’s vital we continue to hear the views of local people and work with the Lake District Partnership to help manage the National Park. Our next steps are to review all of the valuable feedback and this will take time. Then we’ll make changes and share it with communities again, hopefully, in spring 2019.”
To find out more about the Local Plan Review so far visit: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/planning/local-plan-review