Information on all aspects of planning including when you need planning permission and how to get it.
Find out how to search for and comment on planning applications
Gaining planning permission
- Forms and information about what is needed when applying.
Apply for planning permission
Find out about the costs of your application
Do I need planning permission?
Advice and guidance
The Planning Policy Team is responsible for producing land use policies and guidance that are used in deciding planning applications and therefore guide future development in the Copeland Borough.
- Visit the Planning Policy Home page
- Visit the Copeland Local Plan 2013-2028 page
- Visit the Street name and numbering page
- Information on the Planning Panel
- Details of how to submit a planning appeal
- Find out when the Council can take enforcement action
What is Planning Enforcement
- Help us to investigate your complaint
How do I report a breach of planning control
- Find out how your complaint is dealt with
What happens to my complaint
- Read the Council's Planning Enforcement Manual
Further information on planning enforcement
Trees and hedges
- Information about the protection of trees, how to get work done on a tree and the costs involved, how to find out if a tree is protected and how to object or support a tree preservation order
Tree preservation orders
- .Guidance on the protection of and work on trees within conservation areas; how to organise it and the costs involved.
Trees within conservation areas
- Advice on managing high hedges including what classes as a high hedge, current legislation and how to resolve issues with neighbours.
- Information about protected hedgerows including how to get work carried out on a hedgerow or how to get one removed.
Statement regarding signage displayed in car parks
The Council is aware of an increasing issue relating to the display of warning signs relating to parking restrictions displayed by companies responsible for the management of car parks. Commonly these car parks relate to retail operations. It is noted that this is not an issue exclusive to Copeland but is a matter raised with a number of local planning authorities nationally.
The signs are subject to controls under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007. The signs do not need planning permission but in most cases will need to be the subject of a consent to display an advertisement. This is an important distinction because the process of dealing with signs which are displayed without consent is different to enforcement action relating to unauthorised development. An unauthorised building or development would be subject to an enforcement notice and it is only when the requirements of the notice are not met that prosecution might follow. The unauthorised display of a sign is an offence which can lead directly to prosecution. As with many other areas of the law, this does not mean that every single breach becomes the subject of formal prosecution.
Whilst not removing the historic offence, it is possible for those displaying the advertisement to seek consent for the continued display. In such cases the local planning authority would need to consider the signs against usual planning considerations – is there any issue with highway safety; do the signs present any issue in terms of amenity or cause harm to the way an area looks. It would not be appropriate for the planning process to take other matters into account, including any consideration as to whether the restrictions imposed on the car park or other parking management issues to which the signage relates might otherwise be acceptable or appropriate.
Where complaints about the display of unauthorised signs on car parks in Copeland have been received, landowners and those responsible for the display have been advised to submit an application for consent to display an advertisement. The Council will seek to advise all parties responsible for car parks in the borough of this position.
To date applications which have been considered have been approved. This is because in the context of a supermarket car park the signs have not been found to cause such harm to highway safety or amenity issues such as would justify a refusal to grant consent. The signs on Morrisons’ supermarket are now displayed lawfully. Unless clear and obvious harm to highway safety or amenity issues was to result from the display of this type of signage it is likely that the Council would follow a similar course in other cases.
The Council could consider action over the display of the signs before consent was granted. National guidance on enforcement discourages pursuit of a technical breach where an acceptable remedy is achieved, including where consent is granted. Because the Council has concluded that consent should be granted it is not considered that prosecution would represent a proportionate or appropriate use of scarce council resources. Consistency in approach would require consideration of action against a large number of signs on commercial premises which may be in technical breach but have not necessarily been the subject of specific compliant – an unnecessary and inappropriate burden on business within the Borough.
The Council is aware of the suggestion that unauthorised signs should be prosecuted and those responsible for display pursued under the legislation relating to the recovery of proceeds of crime.