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Copeland Local Plan

Copeland Development Plan

Development Planning is a vital tool in helping us and the community respond to the challenges that lie ahead for Copeland.  It can help us to prepare the land, the places, the infrastructure and the services that will be needed, and it can set out the basis for making choices about new development.  

This page sets out the statutory planning documents which make up the current Development Plan. Planning applications must be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless other material considerations indicate otherwise. The current Development Plan comprises the Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD (Adopted in December 2013) and a number of policies “saved” from the Copeland Local Plan 2001-2016. These documents are considered further below.

We are in the process of producing a new Local Plan which will replace the Core Strategy and saved policies. The emerging Local Plan is considered further below.

Copeland Local Plan 2021-2038: Examination

The Council submitted the Local Plan for independent Examination on 16th September 2022.  Details of the Examination process and its progress can be found on: The Copeland Local Plan 2021-2038: Examination

Copeland Local Plan Publication Draft Consultation

Copeland Borough Council held a public consultation on the final draft of the new Copeland Local Plan 2021-2038 between Monday 10th January 2022 until Friday 18th March 2022.  This document can be found using the following link.  The Council is running a consultation on an Addendum to the Publication Draft (Amended Policies H9 and N5)

Copeland Local Plan 2021-2038 Focused Pre-Publication Draft

Copeland Borough Council has carried out a Public consultation which focuses on the most significant proposed changes made to the Local Plan following the Preferred Options Draft, which was consulted on in September 2020. 

This Focused Pre-Publication Draft consultation is designed to test changes to the plan, including new policies and changes to draft allocations and settlement boundary extensions, before a full consultation into the Publication Draft of the Local Plan is carried out in early 2022.

The Focused Pre Publication Draft consultation document can be viewed here.

The draft consultation is accompanied by a Development Strategy and Hierarchy paper update.

The Copeland Economic Development Needs Assessment 2021.

There are also a number of additional evidence base documents supporting the Local Plan, which can be found on our Local Plan Preferred Options page.

For reference the Preferred Options draft can be viewed here: Local Plan Preferred Options | Copeland Borough Council

If you have any comments on proposed changes in the draft consultation document, please use the following response form.

Please return all completed forms to Copeland Borough Council at the following address:

Strategic Planning Team
Copeland Borough Council
The Market Hall
Market Place
Cumbria CA28 7JG

Or by email to:

Alternatively, we have a Google Forms version of our form available for comments, which can be submitted here:

For further information or advice, please contact the Strategic Planning Team on or call 01946 598300. Please return all responses no later than Sunday 17th  October 2021.

Emerging Planning Policy

The second draft of the Local Plan, the Preferred Options Draft, was produced in September 2020. The Preferred Options draft identified the Council’s preferred policies (strategic and development management policies) and allocations. The Preferred Options Draft and supporting documents can be found here:

Call for Sites - Gypsy and traveller sites

The Council has a responsibility to meet the housing needs of all its residents including those who identify as gypsies, travellers or travelling showpeople under the Housing and Planning Act 2016. We also have a duty under the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015 to ensure a rolling 5 year supply of deliverable sites for travellers.

A Cumbria wide Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment is currently being produced to identify needs across the County. Initial findings indicate there is a need for 12 permanent gypsy and traveller pitches in Copeland up to the year 2035. The G&T Assessment is anticipated for completion in May this year.

In order to address identified needs through the emerging Local Plan, the Council is running a call for sites between Friday 9th April and Friday 21st May 2021. If you own a site which is between 0.2ha and 1 hectare in size that may be suitable as gypsy and traveller site we would be grateful if you would complete and submit a Call for Sites form, along with a map showing the site’s boundary and location. Forms are available here and should be returned to or the Strategic Planning Team, Copeland Borough Council, Market Hall, Whitehaven, CA28 7JG.

Any sites submitted will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The site is well related to an existing sustainable settlement, with safe and convenient access to the main highway network, and a range of basic and everyday community services and facilities including education health, shopping facilities and transport provision;
  • The site must not lead to the unacceptable loss, or significant adverse impact on landscape character and value, important heritage assets and their settings, nature conservation or biodiversity sites;
  • The site would offer a suitable level of residential amenity to any proposed occupiers, and will not have an unacceptable adverse impact upon the amenity of nearby residents (e.g. in terms of privacy, overbearing impact etc);
  • The site must be capable of being designed to ensure that appropriate landscaping and planting would provide and maintain visual amenity in perpetuity; and
  • Pitch size, type and parking will be designed in accordance with national standards.

The most suitable site will then be included as a draft allocation in the Local Plan Publication Draft. This will be subject to a 6 week public consultation and during this time people will be able to give their views on the suitability of the site.


Call for Sites - Housing

Call for Sites – Housing closed on 30th November 2020.

 Please note if you have any further sites that you wish to submit they will now only be accepted at the Publication stage, anticipated in Summer 2021.

 A list of sites previously put forward for consideration can be found in the Strategic Housing Land Availability document available at the following link:  Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment page.


Call for Sites - Non Residential Uses

The non-residential call for sites closed on 30th November 2020.

Please note if you have any further sites that you wish to submit they will now only be accepted at the Publication stage, anticipated in Summer 2021.

 A list of sites previously put forward for consideration as an employment site can be found in the Assessment of Employment Land, Opportunity Sites and Regeneration Areas document here:


The Current Development Plan

The Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD (adopted 5 December 2013) forms the main part of the Development Plan for the borough.  The Council will also continue to have regard to the remaining ‘saved’ policies from the Copeland Local Plan 2001-2016 (adopted 2006) relating to specific areas of land (which will be reviewed in the Local Plan).

The Copeland Local Plan is currently made up of the following statutory planning documents which are used as the basis for determining planning applications:



The documents above can also be viewed at Copeland Borough Council, Market Hall, Market Place, Whitehaven, CA28 7JG and libraries across the Copeland borough.

On the 9th May 2017, Copeland Borough Council announced that it cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of housing sites. In light of this the Copeland Interim Housing Policy was produced which is available here: Copeland Interim Housing Policy - May 2017. The Five year supply position has now been updated and the Council is able to demonstrate in excess of 5 years supply of deliverable housing sites. Given this the Interim Housing Policy has now been revoked. Further information regarding the Five Year Supply is available in the Five Year Housing Land Supply Position Paper available here:


Other Key Planning Documents

The following key planning documents support the Copeland Local Plan:

  • Supplementary Planning Documents - cover a range of issues and provide further explanation or detail as to how a policy in the Development Plan should be implemented and are a material consideration in making decisions on planning applications and will therefore carry significant weight in decision-making.




  • Monitoringassesses the implementation of the Local Development Scheme and the extent to which policies in the Local Plan are being successfully implemented.