South Lakeland pushes on with plan update

The local authority has launched the next stage of its local plan review, seeking options for sites as it looks to guide development up to 2040.

The South Lakeland Local Plan review started in 2020 and will go out to full public consultation next year as the local authority seeks to get the updated framework adopted from 2024. A second call for sites has been made.

Sites submitted in the 2020 initial call for sites were published in a document in March this year, showing that 122 sites were submitted in total – some of them already included in the Local Plan. The largest single area in terms of sites submitted was Kendal with 23.

Further site suggestions are being sought as the plan seeks to set out which plots, outside of the national parks, could or should be allocated for housing and employment.

Cllr Helen Chaffey, South Lakeland Council’s portfolio holder for housing and the local plan, said: “South Lakeland is a special place to live and to work. But keeping it special doesn’t happen by accident. The planning system and the local plan have a big role to play.

“We need to regularly update the local plan to make sure it continues to meet the challenges facing our area. In particular we need to ensure that the right kinds of housing and development, of the right design and quality, happen in the right place and meet local needs.”

Based on feedback from 2020’s initial consultation, emerging themes are to be presented at this issues and options stage, with possibilities including response to the climate crisis, town centre management and greener travel.

Cllr Chaffey added: “It’s a great time to get involved because everything is still up for discussion and no decisions have been made.

“We are seeing some key themes emerging but it’s important to note that, at this stage of the Local Plan process, we are looking at many different options and listening to people’s views before any decisions are made about allocating sites for new development.”

The process includes a virtual consultation room that also links to those sites already submitted.

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