Penrith Aerial
Penrith is Eden's largest town and features a number of development opportunities in the Local Plan

Eden Council to adopt Local Plan

Eden Council’s executive is set to sign off the borough’s Local Plan at a meeting this week following nearly five years of preparation and consultation, setting out the vision for the area up to 2032.

The council has been working on its Local Plan, which covers 2014 to 2032, since early 2013 and first submitted it to the Planning Inspectorate on 23 December 2015. Since then, it has been through several hearings in 2016, 2017, and this year.

A number of modifications have been put forward at various stages; the latest changes were made to reflect the extension of both the Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park into Eden’s borough, while housing numbers have also been amended in the latest iteration.

The borough now plans to build around 242 homes per year up to 2032; many of these will be in and around Penrith where planning consent exists for more than 1,000 homes. In total, Eden Council expects to build more than 4,300 homes over the Local Plan period; the borough currently has the lowest population density of any English district.

Two sites are also set aside for employment space: a 29.4-acre extension of the Gilwilly Industrial Estate, and eight acres of land in Skirsgill. The council has also signalled its intention to support further development of Newton Rigg College in the Local Plan.

Near Appleby, there is 11 acres of land set aside for employment use across three sites, while there is also an allocation for more than 200 homes. Elsewhere, at Kirkby Stephen, around eight acres of land at Kirkby Stephen Business Park is made available for employment use in the Local Plan.

Several rural sites are set aside as ‘key hubs’, where 871 homes will be built over the Local Plan period. These are Armathwaite, Brough and Church Brough, Culgaith, Greystoke, High and Low Hesket, Kirkby Thore, Langwathby, Lazonby, Nenthead, Plumpton, Shap, Stainton and Tebay.

For housing developments of more than 11 units, the council will look to secure a 30% provision of affordable homes, with type and tenure negotiated on a site-by-site basis. In rural areas not specified as ‘key hubs’, the Local Plan states new housing for three or more dwellings will be restricted to affordable homes only.

Eden Council is expected to endorse the latest iteration of the Local Plan, which has been declared as sound by the Planning Inspectorate, when it meets this Tuesday.

Separately from the Local Plan, Eden has also launched a masterplan for Penrith. This plan, covering a vision for the town and its surrounding area to 2050, focusses on partnering with developers and housing associations to build between 5,000 and 8,000 homes; building a road from the A66 to Junction 41 of the M6; construction of new bridges across the borough; and investment in healthcare facilities.

A consultation started on the Penrith masterplan in August this year. Several large sites around the town have already been identified for residential development under the Local Plan.

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