Arnside and Silverdale AONB Development Plan receives well-deserved award
CPRE Lancashire is delighted to endorse the award for Spatial Planning given by the Royal Town Planning Institute to the groundbreaking Development Plan for Arnside and Silverdale.
Arnside and Silverdale Area Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) straddles North Lancashire and South Cumbria. As an AONB, it should enjoy the highest levels of protection for its landscapes and natural beauty. But as CPRE’s report, “Beauty Betrayed“, shows, even these protected places are increasingly being targeted for major housing development. This threatens the character of some of our finest landscapes. A Development Plan which puts the landscape first is a new, and very welcome concept. CPRE Lancashire has supported the plan process throughout. We were delighted when the RTPI also recognised its importance at the awards ceremony in October.
This is the first time a separate plan has ever been made for an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is “landscape-capacity led”, so the special qualities that make the landscape and its villages worthy of national recognition really do get the priority and protection they deserve. At the same time, the plan allows for opportunities for smaller scale development to help meet local needs and enable communities to thrive. We endorse this overall landscape-first approach.
We are also particularly supportive of the requirement that at least 50% of homes built should be affordable to local people. Specific protection of some of the most vulnerable green spaces in and around the villages is also very positive. These space are vital to the character and local distinctiveness of the settlements, but are also the most vulnerable to development pressure.
RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence
The RTPI awards recognise outstanding projects across the regions of the UK. That this development plan won both the Spatial Planning and the overall prize demonstrates its pioneering nature. The scheme will go forward to the National Awards in April 2020. We hope that this will highlight the importance of the approach in other AONBs.
CPRE Lancashire’s response
Read our response to the Development Plan below.