Communities set to vote on neighbourhood plan

Signpost pointing to Allithwaite and Cartmel.

Residents are set to decide whether a neighbourhood plan for their area will be formally adopted.

The Allithwaite and Cartmel Neighbourhood Development Plan has been designed to help shape future development in the two villages and surrounding countryside by setting out the type of development the community would like to see in future.

A referendum is to be held on Thursday 29 February to decide whether the NDP should be adopted. A simple majority vote of more than 50 per cent would see the plan adopted and included as part of Westmorland Furness Council’s Development Plan and taken into account in determining relevant planning applications.

The plan was drawn up by Allithwaite and Cartmel Parish Council following consultation with local residents and businesses. The policies proposed in the plan include:

  • Ensuring high quality in new development;
  • Conserving and enhancing the landscape character of the parish, including protection of significant views, and the Cartmel Conservation Area;
  • Protecting local green space through the designation of eight local green spaces;
  • Protecting and enhancing green infrastructure and biodiversity;
  • Protecting dark skies to minimise light pollution; and
  • Restricting new dwellings within and immediately adjoining Cartmel village for principal residence occupation only.

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. A neighbourhood plan ultimately forms part of the Development Plan – policies which local authorities use to determine planning applications.

Councillor Virginia Taylor, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Communities and Localities, said: “I am very pleased to see the Allithwaite and Cartmel Neighbourhood Development Plan reach this stage. A huge amount of work – especially by the Parish Council – lies behind these plans and I would like to thank them for taking it on.  Research, imagination, vision and ambition were all needed so the community’s ideas could be brought together in this draft plan.

“Neighbourhood plans enable communities’ views on what development they want, for the place where they live and work, to have significant weight in the Westmorland and Furness planning process. The views of residents and businesses went into drawing up the draft plan, so I’m urging everyone in the parish to use their vote in the referendum on February 29 to decide whether the plan should be adopted.”

The plan was published for formal representations in February 2023 and proceeded to examination in the spring of 2023. A report from an independent examiner included a series of recommended modifications to the draft Plan, including:

  • The removal of a policy (AC7) relating to improving pedestrian and cycle access, and a reliance instead on criteria F in the ACNDP design policy (AC1) as it more succinctly covers the matter and is more appropriately worded
  • The removal of a policy (AC9) relating to caravan and chalet park development to remove uncertainty and duplication, given it overlaps and duplicates (but not fully) with existing adopted South Lakeland Local Plan Policy (Development Management Policy DM18) and is considered negatively worded contrary to national policy and guidance
  • The removal of a policy (AC10) relating to the maintenance and enhancement of infrastructure in part to remove uncertainty and duplication, given it overlaps and duplicates existing adopted South Lakeland Local plan policy (Development Management Policy DM8) and in part as it is considered aspirational and does not provide a clear context for taking planning decisions.

Mike Lamb, chairman of Allithwaite and Cartmel Parish Council, said: “It has been a long process to reach this stage after a lot of hard work by parish councillors and the steering group.

“The Neighbourhood Plan and Design Code is a community-led framework for guiding the future development and growth of the area. It contains a vision, aims, planning policies, proposals for improving the area or providing new facilities, and designation of land as local green space.

“The plan gives residents and businesses of Allithwaite and Cartmel direct power to develop a shared vision and shape the development and growth of the Parish.  The plan does not replace the current adopted South Lakeland Local Plan but adds more local detail to it, shaping how the parish looks in the future, and will be taken into account in the preparation of any future local plan for Westmorland and Furness.”

A copy of the Neighbourhood Plan and Design Code can be found, from Monday 22 January, in Cartmel Village Hall, The Priory and Cartmel GP Surgery, as well as in Allithwaite’s St Mary’s Church and Allithwaite Community Centre. A copy has also been placed in Grange Library, as well as Kendal Town Hall and Kendal Library.

An information statement about the referendum will be published on the Westmorland and Furness Council website on Monday January 22, when the pre-referendum period begins, before the Notice of Referendum is published on January 25.

Click here to find out more about the referendum.

Polling cards will be sent to all registered voters in the Allithwaite and Cartmel area. All voters are reminded that voters are required to show photo ID when voting at a polling station.

Click here for more information on voter ID, as well as proxy and postal voting.

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