South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has adopted two significant planning policy documents that have become part of the authority’s development plan.
Councillors agreed to adopt plans for the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and for the whole of South Lakeland outside the national parks in March, however both documents were subject to a calling-in period where a legal challenge against the decision could be made, that six-week timeframe passed last month.
SLDC worked in partnership with Lancaster City Council on a dedicated plan that will guide any future development in the Arnside and Silverdale AONB, making it the first development plan covering an AONB in the country.
The Arnside and Silverdale AONB Development Plan Document (DPD) identifies sites for new housing and employment – that contribute to meeting local need – and sets out planning policies, ensuring development protects and enhances the natural beauty and special qualities of the AONB.
SLDC’s Housing and Innovation Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jonathan Brook, said: “The adoption of the Arnside and Silverdale AONB DPD is great news for residents and visitors.
“These plans have been developed with a high level of community involvement across local boundaries, they will protect and enhance this wonderful and important area for the future.”
The Arnside and Silverdale AONB DPD now forms part of both council’s local plans.
Councillor Pete McSweeney, one of three ward councillors for Arnside and Milnthorpe, has been heavily involved in helping to form the AONB DPD and praised all the individuals, groups and organisations that were part of the process.
Cllr McSweeney, said: “The successful adoption of the Arnside and Silverdale AONB DPD is a fantastic example of localism at work. It is of great credit that so many organisations and groups were prepared to put their individual and political differences aside for the good of communities in the AONB.
“The production of this plan involved officers and members of two district councils, two county councils and six parish councils. Representatives of local landowners, the National Trust and the Arnside and Silverdale AONB management team were also involved at every stage of the process.
“Special thanks should also be given to the officers of the development management teams at SLDC and Lancaster City Council. Without their commitment, the production and adoption of this unique DPD would not have been such a success.”
SLDC has also adopted a Development Management Policies DPD for South Lakeland outside the national parks.
The document provides detailed policies to be used when assessing planning applications and will help manage and shape new development across the district.
The DPD states that new homes must be designed and built to higher standards to ensure they are accessible and adaptable, which will enable home alterations to be made more easily if a person’s needs change during their life.
SLDC also requires a number of wheelchair adaptable homes on large development sites and the council says it would like to gain a better understanding of local demand for this type of housing.
Cllr Brook added: “South Lakeland is located in a high quality environment and it is important that we do all we can to ensure that homes built in our area are built to high standards.
“Current research indicates that five per cent of homes on development sites of over 40 units need to be wheelchair adaptable homes, however, we would like to understand local demand more.
“If you or a relative would be interested in this type of housing, please let us know. The feedback will help set allocation numbers for wheelchair adaptable homes at larger development sites across South Lakeland.”
To register your interest in wheelchair adaptable homes email: [email protected] or call 01539 793 558.
Other key policies in the document outline design requirements for new developments – including the implementation of appropriate drainage systems – to ensure developments are protected from flooding and that flood risk is not increased elsewhere.
As well as this, the DPD for South Lakeland requires residential and commercial development to have the infrastructure in place to provide high-speed broadband.
Both the Arnside and Silverdale AONB DPD and the Development Management Policies DPD can be viewed at www.southlakeland.gov.uk.