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 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
Workington,
Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ

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Allerdale Borough Council leads the way on community planning

20 February 2014

In what is a UK first, Cockermouth residents have moved one step closer to being able to directly influence new development in the town without having to seek official planning consent from Allerdale Borough Council.

In March 2011, Cockermouth Town Council was selected as one of the pilot projects by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to trial the preparation of Neighbourhood Development Orders (NDOs). NDOs basically mean that automatic planning permission for certain types of low impact development will be granted.

Allerdale Borough Council was awarded a £20,000 grant by DCLG to take the project forward with Cockermouth Town Council, which has now developed four specific NDOs for the town.

At last week’s Council Executive, members supported the submission of the four NDOs to the next phase of the process - Independent Examination - and subsequently became the first Local Authority in the UK to reach this point. 

If the Independent Examination of the NDOs is successful, the next phase involves the Council organising a referendum, which could take place with Cockermouth residents as early as this summer.

An NDO can grant planning permission for specified types of low impact development and/or authorise change of use. Once the NDO is established, there would then be no need to apply to the local planning authority for planning permission.

The objectives of the four Cockermouth NDOs include supporting the ongoing revitalisation of the town centre, utilising underused town centre floorspace to create new housing, and encouraging the replacement of modern shop fronts and non-traditional windows and doors on dwelling houses.

Councillor Mark Fryer, Allerdale Borough Council’s Executive Member with responsibility for Economic Growth, said “The Cockermouth project originated after the flooding in 2009 caused serious damage to the town centre, which is covered by a Conservation Area.  Residents and traders found that the need for planning permission delayed the repair and restoration process.  The NDOs are designed to be proactive and positive development tools, which, as well as ensuring that the character and appearance of the town centre is both preserved and enhanced, would also give the local communities more control over what happens on their doorsteps.”

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0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ