Less homes needing to be built as part of revised Local Plan for parts of Lincolnshire

Policy changes could see up to 500 less homes a year being built in the districts around Sleaford, Lincoln and Gainsborough until 2040 as the public is invited to comment on a revised Local Plan for the area.

The Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee (CLJSPC) considered a revised draft of its local plan at its meeting on June 21, covering the City of Lincoln, West Lindsey and North Kesteven.

The revised Central Lincolnshire Local Plan initially drawn up in 2017, is being revisited with a view to enhancing protection of retail centres in rural areas and steering the area towards a carbon net-zero position.

Key policy changes include the housing requirement being reduced from 1,540 homes each year to between 1,060 and 1,325 for the next two decades.

Coun Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council and chairman of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Planning Committee. EMN-210629-152432001
Coun Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council and chairman of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Planning Committee. EMN-210629-152432001

The joint Local Plan provides strategic framework for local planning decisions. It is now being reviewed to ensure it remains current and consistent with latest national guidelines and local circumstances such as population change, the expected closure of RAF Scampton and the increased emphasis on the need to take positive climate action by each partner council.

It will now go out for an extended eight-week consultation from the end of June. Look out for details on the consultation from each partner council and at www.central-lincs.org.uk

Committee chairman, Coun Owen Bierley, said: “It’s been a huge challenge to review an otherwise already very good Local Plan, which has given us some very robust data and clarity of vision to inform a comprehensive plan that I believe is in complete alignment with our shared aspirations for the Central Lincolnshire area.

“With this in place, we need to consult with our residents, partners and developer community to get their take on it and ensure we draw on as many responses and as wide a view as possible.”

The draft of the revised local plan for Central Lincolnshire is going out for public comment over the next eight weeks. EMN-210629-152442001

Whilst the Local Plan will remain familiar, retaining broadly the same vision and objectives, there have been some policy changes and updates to consider, including:

Climate change: Following a mandate to pursue a Carbon Neutral Local Plan, a number of climate change policies have been included to help deliver this, including a requirement for net-zero-carbon homes and a framework for considering renewable energy infrastructure.

Retail: In recognition of some of the challenges facing retail the Draft Local Plan seeks to protect more local retail centres in rural areas; in the face of uncertainty in both the industry and from national policy changes allowing

shops to change use without the need for planning permission.

The socially distanced meeting of the joint planning committee at Lincoln Cathedral. EMN-210629-152421001

Housing: Reflecting new national and local needs assessments, the housing requirement of the plan has been reduced from 1,540 homes each year to between 1,060 and 1,325 homes, meeting the overall requirement of 29,150 dwellings across the plan period from 2018 to 2040.

RAF Scampton: A new draft policy, designed to safeguard the future of RAF Scampton once the site has been decommissioned, has been included. It highlights RAF Scampton as an ‘opportunity area’ and requiring a masterplan prior to any major development. The policy aims to provide a framework which will enhance and protect the area whilst remaining adaptive and responsive to future decisions on the decommission and disposal of the base.

Settlement Hierarchy and Allocations: Following a change in National Policy, sites for 10 or more homes within small and medium villages are specifically allocated which remove the need to apply growth percentages and gives greater certainty to communities.

Outgoing Committee chairman Coun Richard Wright said the revision was necessary to keep the area’s planning framework up to date and in line with changing community emphasis.

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“We are all so much more minded on our individual and collective responsibilities in respect of climate change now than we may have been in 2017 and it is essential that we create a supportive environment in which we can embrace advances in technology and construction practice and changes in the way we live and work to ensure the plan is dynamic and responsive to the needs of Central Lincolnshire going forwards,” said Coun Wright.

Leader of City of Lincoln Council, Coun Ric Metcalfe, said: “The local plan offers a joined-up approach by the authorities of Central Lincolnshire to manage growth responsibly for the public good.

“It can set a favourable policy framework to help us achieve net zero carbon for the safety and well-being of our communities and future generations.”

Responses from this consultation will form the basis of a further review. A final consultation of the Local Plan is expected to take place in Spring 2022 before going forward for Examination in Public in summer 2022.

For more information about Central Lincolnshire Local Plan visit: https://www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/central-lincolnshire/