This week’s focus on the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan draft consultation looks at three themes, Employment and both the Built and Natural Environment.
These policy areas have an important role to play in delivering the vision and objectives of the plan and ultimately seeks to ensure Central Lincolnshire is a prosperous and desirable place to live, work and visit.
Central Lincolnshire is made up of three district authorities; a strategic planning partnership covering City of Lincoln and the North Kesteven and West Lindsey districts.
Seven policies on Employment set out how the planning process will assist Central Lincolnshire in achieving strong and sustainable local economic growth areas, supporting jobs creation and retention, promoting innovation and inward investment.
They highlight key employment sectors for the area including agri-food, visitor economy and traditional manufacturing. The policies link with national and regional strategies around industry and economic development and are supported by a comprehensive Economic Needs Assessment.
The strategy and distribution of growth again remains broadly similar as that in the adopted 2017 Local Plan. Strategic Employment Sites (SES), Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUE) and Important Established Employment Areas (IEEA) make up the majority of employment sites across the area.
However, the policies also recognise the importance of many smaller employment areas that provide a vital role to local, and in particular, rural communities.
A positive change in this Consultation Draft Local Plan is the inclusion of Policy S31, which provides a framework for Local Employment Areas (LEA), which are not directly designated but are defined and are given a suitable level of protection and flexibility for intensification and redevelopment.
Cllr Richard Wright Leader of North Kesteven District Council, which is one of the three district authorities making up the Central Lincolnshire partnership alongside Lincolnshire County Council, is encouraging everyone to get involved in the consultation.
He said: “Central Lincolnshire has a rich built and cultural heritage and a varied and contrasting natural environment which includes the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“Whilst predominately rural, the area, which includes the City of Lincoln, still has a key role to play in the wider county, regional, national and international economy. As such it is important that, both separately and collectively, policies relating to the Built and Natural Environment and Employment provide a framework in which to protect and enhance the area as a whole, and meet key challenges around improving social and economic conditions.
“If these themes strike a chord with you and you’d like to understand more about how the new Consultation Draft Local Plan is tackling these challenges, please do take some time to have a look at the Consultation Draft.”
Key policies around the Built and Natural Environment value the distinctive and diverse historic environment of Central Lincolnshire including the City of Lincoln with its renowned Castle, Cathedral, numerous historic buildings of cultural significance and heritage value. The plan not only seeks to protect and preserve our heritage but it also takes into consideration opportunities to enhance it.
The policies also promote the importance of green infrastructure in development and enhancement of biodiversity and geodiversity in the area.
The policies focussing on the Natural Environment dovetail with the policies contained as part of Climate Change and support the vision of moving Central Lincolnshire towards a carbon net-zero region, where growth will not be at a cost to the environment.
Included within the polices is a framework for the implementation of the emerging Environment Bill which sets out what is intended, including a ‘biodiversity gain plan’ which must be approved as part of a development proposal before development can proceed, and a requirement for a minimum 10% net gain.
You have until 24 August 2021 to have your say on the consultation – all documents and the response form can be accessed by following this link Local Plan consultation.