South Lakeland Local Plan Review - Issues and Options Consultation 2021

Closes 29 Oct 2021

Theme 3: Thriving Market Towns, Villages and Rural Areas - Ulverston (Questions 32 to 41)

Please read the Ulverston chapter of the Issues and Options Report and then answer the questions below.

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32. Have we identified all the relevant strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Ulverston?

Read the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats


  • A key economic and services centre in the wider South Cumbria/Morecambe Bay area – strong functional linkage with Barrow-in-Furness and wider links to Cumbria Energy Coast
  • A strong economic base – a range of employment sites and mix of employers, for example Low Mill Business Park, North Lonsdale Road, strong presence of advanced manufacturing business in the town (e.g. GSK, Siemens, Marl International and Oxley Developments)
  • Rail access links to Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria coast and Lancaster
  • Close access to Barrow-in-Furness via A590
  • A strong services and facilities offer, including a number of independent traders, supermarkets, health facilities, emergency services, secondary and primary schools and cultural, leisure and sport facilities
  • A significant identified supply of deliverable land for housing development including Croftlands (allocated sites)
  • A rich, distinctive historic character, most of the town centre is within a Conservation Area
  • Valued open spaces within the town including Ford Park and recently upgraded Lightburn Park
  • Set within a high quality landscape coastal edge location, higher ground to the north at Hoad Hill, west Kirkby Moor/Pennington hills and south at Birkrigg Common


  • Congestion and capacity on A590
  • Travel time to M6
  • Walking and cycling access from large parts of the town into the town centre constrained due to severance with the A590
  • High levels of flood risk in parts of the town, notably close to Town Beck and Dragley Beck (river), and east parts of the town to the coast caused by a complex mix of sources including watercourses, surface water and the tide. Evidence of coastal erosion. Particular constraints to future development in the east of the town. Continued risk from climate change impacts 
  • Potential for out of town centre commercial/retail development taking footfall away from town centre
  • Pockets of deprivation within the town (Ulverston East)
  • Limited identified supply of deliverable land (allocated sites) in the Local Plan for employment development
  • Announced loss of major employer (GSK), and potential job losses as a consequence


  • New and enhanced existing walking and cycling routes linking existing and new development to key services and facilities and public transport routes
  • Re-use and redevelopment of existing available unused buildings and premises for other uses that can boost the vitality of the town, create additional footfall into town centre, and provide more housing
  • Enhancements to existing green spaces and public realm throughout the town
  • Opportunities for new development / new land uses through regeneration of GSK site. Revisit approach to the area
  • Consideration of further highways improvements to ease congestion on the A590
  • Provide enhanced public transport provision through contributions from new development
  • Reduce surface and main river flooding through strategic flood schemes
  • Take advantage of the town’s current offer as a place to visit and stay and a base for the wider Furness Peninsula and surrounding area
  • Opportunities for further development related to the Cross-a-Moor Roundabout
  • New planned leisure facility enhancements at existing Leisure Centre
  • Reduce inequalities through regeneration and investment
  • Consideration of Ulverston by-pass to alleviate traffic congestion through the town centre in longer term


  • Climate change impacts – increased levels of flood risk
  • Continued increased usage of the car, further congestion and pollution
  • Changing demands for commercial and retail uses, risk of buildings in town centre becoming unused, through reduced footfall
  • Further development on the edge of the town, more car trips – loss of greenfield land
  • Changing demands and permitted development caused by national planning policy may threaten retention of employment/commercial uses in existing employment sites
  • Potential lack of investment in social infrastructure (health, community facilities), and utilities (example sewerage)
  • Development that isn’t sensitive to the town’s distinctive character, resulting in erosion of identity
33. Have we identified the correct features or issues on the map? Are there additional features or issues that should be included?

The map below includes a number of key features, constraints, opportunities and issues relating to the current and possible future development in Ulverston. It is a snapshot of Ulverston now, and includes sites currently allocated for development but not yet completed.

View Map of Ulverston

34. Which of these policy approaches for the good planning of Ulverston to 2040 do you support and why?

Policy Approaches 3.2: Principles and Initiatives for good planning in Ulverston to 2040

Read the policy approaches here

PA3.2/a: Build on the town’s strengths as the main centre serving the west of the South Lakeland area and surroundings –supporting and widening the town’s offer in terms of community facilities, informal recreation for residents and visitors, sports facilities and local services including health care, education, shopping, cultural experiences, food, drink and entertainment.

PA3.2/b: Make sure there is land available to support local business and employment needs and opportunities that can boost the wider local/district economy, considering how the public and private sector can work together in delivering schemes.

PA3.2/c: An emphasis on larger scale housing development providing a mix of housing including affordable which is sensitively located and designed in a way which protects and enhances the town’s  environmental assets, distinctive character, identity and landscape.

PA3.2/d: Increase the diversification of housing mix – including affordable housing, older people’s housing, and homes for smaller households, supporting needs of all.

PA3.2/e: A greater emphasis on brownfield and other windfall opportunities within the existing built up area, including within and on the edge of the town centre – including reusing underused sites and supporting housing development where it can support the vitality and viability of the town centre.

PA3.2/f: Strengthen the role of the town centre and its surrounds as a place to live as well as to visit, work, shop and use for leisure/recreation.

PA3.2/g: Relieve traffic congestion on the A590 and improve pedestrian and cycle access links to the town centre.

PA3.2/h: Realise regeneration opportunities, including role of GSK site in this context which can help reduce inequalities and boost the local and sub-regional economy.

PA3.2/i: Support the development of integrated walking and cycling networks including along the Canal corridor, linking key facilities, green spaces and new developments, in order to make the town ‘friendly’ for walkers and cyclists.

PA3.2/j: Support for public realm enhancements within the town centre, especially in gateway locations.

PA3.2/k: Protect and enhance the heritage assets and qualities of the town.

PA3.2/l: Consider the merits of an Ulverston by-pass in the longer term, in the context of supporting the sustainable growth of the town and meeting other Local Plan objectives. Safeguard a route if considered appropriate, or instead make a general statement of support if funding becomes available.

35. What do you think the role of the town centre should be and how should its role develop in response to trends and challenges such as on-line retailing? For example, if there are less shops in future, should housing and other non-retail uses such as leisure, food and drink be encouraged? (See section 4.6.6 of the Issues and Options Report)
36. Have we identified the right open spaces that need protecting in Ulverston on the Policies Map (link below)?

If you feel there are other open spaces which need protection and are not included, or open spaces that merit designation as Local Green Spaces, please indicate on a map what these changes should be (using the file upload facility below).

File Upload: Map of potential changes to current open spaces

Please make sure your file is under 25MB
37. How can we complete any gaps in the green infrastructure network and cycling and walking networks in Ulverston? Please suggest potential links between green spaces and also within cycling and walking networks (See section 4.4.5 of the Issues and Options Report).
38. If you feel a change to the current development boundary for Ulverston is needed (see section 4.2.4 of the Issues and Options Report), please indicate on a map what these changes should be (using the file upload facility below).

File Upload: Map of potential changes to current development boundary for Ulverston

Please make sure your file is under 25MB
39. If you feel changes to the current green gap between Ulverston and Swarthmoor are needed (see section 4.2.5 of the Issues and Options Report), please indicate on a map what these changes should be (using the file upload facility below).

File Upload: Map of potential changes to current green gap between Ulverston and Swarthmoor

Please make sure your file is under 25MB
40. Which of these policy options for possible directions of growth for Ulverston do you support and why?

Policy Options 3.2: Potential Directions of Growth for Ulverston 

Read the policy options here

PO3.2/i: South West

PO3.2/ii: Centre and built-up area and brownfield focus, within and on the edge of the town centre including GSK


41. What do you think would be the best use of the GSK site to benefit Ulverston?

So far there have been a few sites suggested for allocation for development in the ‘Call for Sites’ in summer 2020. As part of this consultation, you can comment on sites already submitted and also suggest other sites which may be suitable for allocation in the Local Plan for housing or business development. For more information and opportunity to comment, please see section 4.2.6 in Theme 2 of the Issues and Options Report and questions 20 and 21.