2022: Towards a Draft Local Plan

Last Updated: 13 January 2023

This page provides an update on the work we are undertaking in 2022 to inform the update of the South Lakeland Local Plan. To receive direct updates on our Local Plan Review including our newsletters please ask to be added to our mailing list by emailing developmentplans@southlakeland.gov.uk.

You may already be aware that from 1 April 2023 the current six district councils and Cumbria County Council will be replaced by two new unitary authorities. Further information is available about the Local Government Reorganisation: New Councils for Cumbria.

In the meantime we are continuing with work to review the South Lakeland Local Plan and aiming to prepare a draft Plan during 2023. Westmorland and Furness Council will assume responsibility for Local Plan preparation across the new authority. We are working closely with our colleagues at Barrow and Eden Councils and Cumbria County Council to make sure that our plans are aligned as we approach April 2023.

Local Plan Review and Evidence Update

In summer and autumn 2021 we consulted on an ‘Issues and Options’ report. This set out a range of issues in planning for the district to 2040, together with a number of ways (‘options’) in which we might address them. We received a lot of feedback and have been busy analysing all the comments made which will inform the development of our draft Local Plan. You can read the responses that were submitted: Issues and Options Consultation 2021 published responses. We are currently preparing a Consultation Statement that will summarise all the responses and key messages.

In addition to considering all the feedback we received we have been busy commissioning and preparing several evidence documents and studies to inform the development of a draft Local Plan. More information on this work is set out below.

Call for Sites 2021: Further Sites Suggested - Have Your Say

In summer 2021 alongside our Local Plan Issues and Options consultation, we launched a second ‘Call for Sites’ exercise to invite suggestions for sites that may be suitable for housing or employment development.

From 20 September to 10 November 2022 we offered an early opportunity for communities and stakeholders to share their views on these sites as we assess them as part of the SHELAA study.

You can find out more about this consultation and view the responses received on our survey page Call for Sites 2021 Feedback Consultation

Please note:

  • there will be further opportunities to comment on sites when we publish the draft SHELAA for comment, and at the draft Local Plan consultation
  • no sites are proposed for development at this stage – this will happen when a draft Plan is prepared
  • the Call for Sites list is long, but most sites will not ultimately be needed or proposed for allocation

Strategic Housing and Economic Needs Assessment (SHENA)

We have recently commissioned consultants to undertake a SHENA study to assess the need for new housing and employment developments over the new Local Plan period 2020-2040. Once finalised the report will be uploaded to our evidence studies and reports.

Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA)

We are currently working on our SHELAA, which will provide an initial high-level assessment of sites that may have potential for housing or employment development. This includes assessing sites that have been suggested to us through our two ‘Call for Sites’ exercises. You can read more about how we are undertaking the study in the SHELAA methodology report. We will publish a draft version of the SHELAA and invite comments later this year.

Sustainable Settlement Study

Our Settlement Services and Accessibility Assessment is being updated to widen the range of services and facilities we are recording, and are developing the way we assess accessibility by different transport modes. We are also widening the assessment to look at other characteristics of our towns and villages including environmental considerations and infrastructure. This study will help inform our new settlement hierarchy and development strategy in the updated Local Plan by providing information to help us understand which are our most sustainable and suitable locations for new development.

Cumbria Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment

A new Cumbria wide Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment was published in January 2022. The study concluded that in South Lakeland there is no need for any new pitches for gypsies and travellers.