Planning policy-makers budget warning over Lincolnshire developments

A stark warning has been issued to the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee that its budget reserves could be “exhausted” and fall in deficit by 2027.
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The CLJSPC, a collaboration of 12 councillors from West Lindsey and Lincolnshire councils, as well as City of Lincoln and North Kesteven authorities, was established in October 2009.

Its critical task is to produce the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, which outlines planning policies for managing development in the area.

However, a budget update report due to be presented at the committee’s annual general meeting states: “With the current level of funding, it is expected that the reserve will be exhausted and will be in deficit by the end of 2027/28”.

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The report underscores a funding shortfall from partner organisations for the Local Plan’s delivery.

The committee, which approves the Local Plans Team’s budget every three years, has seen lower than expected costs in the previous financial year, leading to an underspend of £61,256. Despite this, the reserves have been drawn down as per the approved budget plan.

From 2023/24, the cost of delivering the Local Plans Team will exceed the agreed budgeted income receipts from the three partner organisations.

The retained partnership funds can cover this annual shortfall until the 2026/27 financial year. However, additional partnership funds must be secured before or during the 2026/27 financial year to ensure the partnership is fully funded over the forecast 10-year term.

The committee is recommended to note the budget forecast and review the funding levels from the partner authorities “in order to establish and maintain a suitable reserve fund for future years”.