Tourism and visitor economy play an important role in Central Lincolnshire and it is crucial that polices are in place to help the sector thrive and grow.
This week’s focus on the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan draft consultation looks at key policies and why they have been added to the plan.
Three policies have been included, which are designed to give a framework to enable further growth in this sector whilst protecting and enhance the existing historic core of Lincoln and the rural areas beyond the City and main towns.
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.
In a change from the current Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, there are separate policies for Rural and Urban Tourism. This is in recognition that the challenges and opportunities which face businesses operating in an urban and rural setting can be quite different and there is a need to recognise and accommodate this in policy terms.
Both Policy S41 Sustainable Urban Tourism and Policy S42 Sustainable Rural Tourism require:
- The demonstration of contribution to the local economy
- Benefit to existing communities and visitors alike
- Present a scheme which respects the intrinsic natural and built environmental qualities of the area.
The policies also prescribe the process that should be followed should a proposal result in the loss of a facility.
The Sustainable Rural Tourism Policy also provides details in relation to the location of new tourism and visitor facilities. This is to enable development in suitable places and at an acceptable scale, but also afford protection to the Countryside and prevent inappropriate development in the rural areas of Central Lincolnshire.
Cllr Ric Metcalfe, Leader of City of Lincoln Council is passionate about supporting tourism and visitor economy.
He said: “Central Lincolnshire is fortunate to have a high-quality and varied visitor economy offer across the city and our towns and villages. It is crucially important, now more than ever as the economy recovers from Covid-19, that we have the right policies in place to help this sector thrive and grow.
“According to the latest figures,the number of people employed in ‘accommodation and food service’ between 2012 and 2018 had risen by 36%.
“Linked to this as a sector that attracts visitors to the area, jobs in the ‘arts, entertainment, recreation and other services’ have increased by 47%. Further growth is also predicted for both jobs sectors. With growth rates like this, it is vitally important that we ensure the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan continues to promote and support these sectors.”
The final policy in this suite of three is policy S43, specific to Lincolnshire Showground, which recognises the strategic importance of the showground and the wider implications of any development on the site.
It identifies the site on the Policies Map and details the type of development which would be supported in principle. The policy also secures the requirement of a Master Plan to be prepared if significant development proposals were to come forward in the future.
The Central Lincolnshire Local Plan consultation period is now half way through, with only 4 weeks left to submit any comments before it closes on August 24. If you would like to understand more about this policy area or any others in the Consultation Draft Central Lincolnshire Local plan, please click this link: Local Plan consultation.