All local planning authorities have to develop local plans which shape how development should be undertaken within their district. Local plans provide policy guidance to planning officers and local authority members who ultimately make decisions on whether planning applications should be approved or refused.
Friends of the Lake District is involved in the plan-making process for all nine planning authorities in Cumbria. We respond to local plan consultations to make sure that policies put forward do not have an adverse impact on the landscape or natural environment in the county. We are also keen to ensure that development that does take place is sustainable in its construction materials and with regard to public transport, and is energy efficient, protects and enhances wildlife, provides green infrastructure for residents and is in keeping with the vernacular of local area.
We also comment on site allocation proposals put forward by local authorities. This is the point at which locations for development of housing and employment land in a district are decided. It is worth putting a lot of effort in to this process to make sure that inappropriate sites are not selected. Once a site has been allocated, it is very hard to prevent development taking place at the location.
By being closely involved in policy development, our concerns regarding the natural environment are usually taken into account by the local authority. Once these policies are in place it is then much easier to ensure that planning applications are sensitive to the landscape and environment of Cumbria and the Lake District, and that those applications which don’t meet policy guidance are refused.
Resources for people concerned about a planning application in their area:Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Planning Help RTPI’s Handy Guide to Planning Planning Aid England Planning Portal Friends of the Earth English Planning System Guide