Reducing the need to travel by car is a key feature within the draft Consultation of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
Transport and accessibility is featured as one of the 15 objectives in the plan, which seeks to make efficient use of the existing transport infrastructure, including enhancement where needed.
Emphasis is placed on reducing the need to travel by car where possible and improve accessibility to employment and services, ensuring journeys are undertaken in the most sustainable way. However, it recognises that Central Lincolnshire is a predominantly rural area and as such there is a heavy reliance on car use across large parts of the area.
Central Lincolnshire covers the three council areas of City of Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey with a strategic planning partnership made up of the two district, city and county councils.
Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council welcomes views on the policy as this links closely with the draft policies on climate change.
He said: “Climate change has brought into sharp focus the need to make significant changes to the way we live, work and travel. Reducing the need to travel by car can prove to be a difficult challenge to balance. However, these policies focus on ensuring development proposals which come forward, contribute towards an efficient and safe transport network. We need to ensure there are a range of transport choices on offer, including sustainable transport modes, for the movement of people and goods.
“As part of the suite of policies which deals with transport, there is also the inclusion of a specific policy for walking and cycling. Policy S47 requires developments to facilitate active travel by incorporating measures to support a shift to more sustainable, climate friendly modes of travel.
“It will be necessary for new developments to clearly demonstrate how the ability to travel by foot or cycle will be actively encouraged through layout and design. Ensuring priority to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and people with impaired mobility as well as users of public transport will be key.”
The Local Plan recognises that car ownership in many rural areas continues to be necessary as such a new policy, S48, dealing with car parking standards has been included. This acknowledges the pressure of car parking on new developments and the impact on highway safety. To help ensure that the carbon being emitted from private cars is minimised, the Local Plan now also includes Policy S17 which aims to ensure that all new homes are made ‘electric vehicle ready’.
It is required that all development should consider users’ needs, impact on neighbouring users and maintain the safe and efficient use of the highway network.
Developers should consider imaginative solutions for:
- Car share facilities
- Powered two wheeler and cycle parking
- Enabling domestic electric vehicle charging points.
One area of the draft consultation which has remained the same is the inclusion of the Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs). These form an integral part of the local plan strategy, delivering more than half of the housing requirement in the plan period. It is not only housing that will be delivered on these SUEs.
By focusing a substantial amount of growth at these locations it will also see the delivery of key infrastructure to support the growing population, facilitating many of the requirements detailed within the transport and accessibility theme.
The eight SUEs located around Gainsborough, Lincoln and Sleaford were allocated in the 2017 Local Plan and substantial efforts from the Central Lincolnshire councils and site promoters and developers has gone into making progress with these SUEs.
As a result, many of the SUEs have already had masterplans or broad concept plans and design codes produced for them, achieved outline permission, detailed permission and as seen at Foxby Lane Gainsborough, at Handley Chase in Sleaford and the Lincoln South East Quadrant, a start of site has been made.
There are four policies which give both a general framework for all SUEs in Central Lincolnshire in policy S67 and area-specific policies for the City of Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford.
Within this theme there are also three policies, NS71 to NS73, which highlight areas for regeneration and redevelopment, focussing on the City of Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford.
Cllr Wright added: “Having a planning policy framework in place is important for these areas and provides stakeholders with greater certainty around future use and function. These policies recognise the varying levels of complexity for each site and the different specific reason for wanting to manage growth in each location, providing an appropriate degree of flexibility where required.”
If you have a particular interest in sustainable travel or have had experience of some of the challenges car parking has caused or have an affinity to one of regeneration areas highlighted in the Local Plan then submit a response to ensure your comments are considered by 24 August. All documents can be found by clicking on this link: Local Plan consultation.