Share your views on the Westmorland and Furness Design Code


About the Design Code

Alongside the Local Plan process, Westmorland and Furness Council are also developing a Design Code. Design codes support the Local Plan by setting a vision for design quality, then how to achieve good design by setting out clear requirements and guidance. A design code can give details on building materials, street design, or for places with historic buildings to protect local character. They also help with custom and self-build projects and allow for new building methods without stopping innovation. This means that the design code will be detailed without being too rigid and should respect the diversity of towns, villages and rural areas in Westmorland and Furness.

National planning policy expects all local authorities to create a design code for their areas. Westmorland and Furness Council have started the process to create one for the whole council area (excluding those parts within the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks).

The information provided by the Design Code will help developers and builders know what is acceptable so they can submit better planning applications. For larger projects that might be developed over many years and several planning applications, design codes can also help to keep things consistent over time.

See below for details on how to get involved, share your views and shape the design code. 

There are ten characteristics of well-designed places identified in national guidance on design codes. The Westmorland and Furness Design code will be specific to the area but will start by considering these ten characteristics:

• Context – Does a development enhance the surroundings?
• Identity – Is it attractive and distinctive?
• Built form – Does the development form a sensible pattern of buildings/roads etc?
• Movement – is it accessible and easy to move around?
• Nature – Is nature protected and enhanced?
• Public spaces – Are they safe, social and inclusive?
• Uses – Are there different uses, e.g. houses and shops, mixed and integrated together?
• Homes and buildings – Are they functional, healthy and sustainable?
• Resources – Are resources being used efficiently?
• Lifespan – Is the development made to last?

When making design codes, it's important to involve the community to understand what people identify as good design locally. Community engagement during the process helps to make sure the design code reflects local views and preferences.


Diagram showing all 10 characteristics identified from the national guidance on design codes as segments coming together to produce a complete circle. The circle is surrounded by a ring containing 'climate', 'character' and 'community'.

Source: Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, 2021: National Design Guide

Share your views

Help shape the Westmorland and Furness Design Code

Westmorland and Furness Design Code Survey 2024

About the Design Code This survey is designed to collect views on the future Westmorland and Furness Design Code. It explores design preferences, local views on development and aims to understand the different characters of places across Westmorland and Furness. The design code will cover the Westmorland and Furness Council area excluding those parts within the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to...

Project phases

Baseline and listening phase (summer 2024)

an illustrated image of a grey computer with a large pink curser

The project team are busy researching the area, looking at things like history and heritage, recent developments, and local best practice. We’re also keen to hear from you to shape the design code, but also to share local knowledge. The project team will use the information to draft the Westmorland and Furness Design Code.

Community feedback (early 2025)

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Once drafted we’ll create further opportunities for members of the public and Westmorland and Furness communities to share their views. This will be fed back to the project team to consider when finalising the draft.  

Council adoption (summer 2025)

an image of a pink tick box with a large pink tick

The final step is to present the Westmorland and Furness Design Code to Elected Members (local councillors) for approval and adoption as a Supplementary Planning Document.

About Westmorland and Furness Council

You may already be familiar, but Westmorland and Furness Council was created in 2023. It is made up of the former Barrow, South Lakeland and Eden Councils and part of the former Cumbria County Council.

Westmorland and Furness Council provides all local government services including as planning, housing, highways, education, social care, waste collection and recycling. It is England’s third largest unitary council covering an area of 3,754 sq. km which extends from Alston and Penrith in the north to Barrow-in-Furness and Walney island in the southwest.

The design code covers the Westmorland and Furness council area excluding those parts within the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks.

As part of our early conversation on the Westmorland and Furness Local Plan, we will be hosting a number of drop in events throughout the area. These locations can be viewed on the map below (click on the pin to view the name of the venue, and the date and time of the event). As well as completing the online survey, you are welcome to discuss your views on design at these drop-in events. 

This is an interactive map.

The map shows Westmorland and Furness. There are red pins showing public drop in events in the area.


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