Retention of community facilities

Last Updated: 23 August 2023

Community facilities provide an important function in our towns and villages. Where there is a proposal to remove or reuse these facilities you will need to refer to this guidance.

When required

All applications outside of the town centres of Kendal, Kirkby Lonsdale, Grange-over-Sands, Milnthorpe or Ulverston, as defined on the Policies Map, involving the loss of a community facility. A community facility may include a local shop, public house,  community hall or centre, sports club, library, school/college, doctor's surgery, cultural buildings, places of worship and outdoor/indoor sports facilities.


When a proposed development involves the loss of any community facility, the application must be accompanied by supporting written evidence. This should include:

  • for a business, the current and projected trading performance
  • for a community facility, the current and projected patterns of use
  • the nature and condition of the building or site together with the cost of repairs, renovations or improvements needed to allow the continuation of the facility
  • location of comparable facilities
  • potential relocation of the facility to an alternative premises or site in the locality or the retention of the premises for an alternative community use or for a partial community use alongside another use
  • evidence that the premises has been actively marketed by an appropriate agent, at a realistic commercial rent or sale price for a period of at least nine months. Evidence includes sales literature, details of approaches and offers (sensitive details will not be published)
  • evidence of how the facility meets a local need in the locality. Applicants will be expected to engage with local communities at an early stage about the relative importance of the facility to its users, in order to demonstrate the degree to which the facility fulfils a need in the locality


A fee is required (over and above the planning application fee). The amount of the fee will be available upon application on a case by case basis. The fee is to cover our costs in appointing an independent professional to evaluate the assessment submitted.


Policy DM17 South Lakeland Local Plan Development Management Policies Development Plan Document; Retention of Community Facilities