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Planning Policy

The Current Planning Policy Development Plan within Cumbria

The Development Plan is the starting point for considering planning applications for development in the county. Decisions should be made in accordance with it unless there are material considerations which indicate otherwise. The Development Plan for Cumbria currently comprises of:

The National Planning Policy Framework [NPPF] was published by Government on 27 March 2012. The NPPF must be taken into account in the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans, and is a material consideration in planning decisions.

Who is Responsible for Producing Planning Policy within the County?

Cumbria County Council is responsible for Minerals and Waste Planning Policy across Cumbria (with the exception of the National Parks) as it is responsible for considering planning applications for minerals and waste developments. The Cumbria Minerals and Waste Development Framework's (MWDF) Core Strategy and Generic Development Control Policies (adopted April 2009) are the principal minerals and waste policy documents currently in force. The County Council is in the process of producing a Minerals and Waste Local Plan which will supersede the existing MWDF documents. 

The County Council has also published a Cumbria Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Document, which was adopted in 2007, and a Landscape Character Guidance and Toolkit for Cumbria in 2011.

The District Councils have to produce Local Plans (formerly known as Local Development Frameworks) for all other types of development such as for housing and employment land. The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities are responsible for preparing Local Plans for all types of development (housing, employment, minerals and waste) within their boundaries. Information about the progress of the Districts and National Parks on producing their Development Plan Documents and of their current saved policies can be found on their respective websites. 

Purpose of Local Plans

Local Plans seek to strategically plan for development in their area. To achieve this the local planning authorities take into account a wide range of economic, social and environmental factors that matter to the people of Cumbria and engage with communities and interested parties about them at an early stage. Local Plans have to conform to national policies and relate them in more detail to local characteristics.