South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) has formally adopted a Development Plan Document for Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It has now been adopted by both local councils that have part of the AONB in their area (South Lakeland District and Lancaster City Council). See

The Development Plan Document (DPD) identifies sites for new housing and employment to contribute towards meeting local needs and sets out planning policies to ensure that development reflects the AONB designation. Subject to a 6 week formal challenge period, it now forms part of the development plan for both authorities and will be used in making planning decisions throughout the Arnside and Silverdale AONB. It carries the same weight as any other adopted Local Plan document.

We're delighted as Friends of the Lake District and CPRE have been encouraging and supportive of its landscape capacity-led approach throughout the document’s preparation. It is reflective of some consultation responses to the Glover Review, which call for all of our AONBs to have their own planning guidance. It may also help to give AONBs more prominence, as it is often forgotten that they have the same level of legal and policy protection as National Parks.

This is the first document of its kind and its preparation has been followed closely by both the National Association of AONBs and Natural England and our hope is that this landscape-focused approach to planning development within the AONB will be adopted in more of our AONBs.