Plans to steer the future of Central Lincolnshire have been finalised and are ready to be examined by a Government appointed Inspector – but only after a public consultation is held on the Proposed Submission Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.
Following approval by the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee (CLJSPC) at the end of February the consultation on the plan started on 16 March 2022 and will run until 11.59 PM on 9 May 2022.
Central Lincolnshire covers the combined area of the City of Lincoln, West Lindsey and North Kesteven and the joint Local Plan provides the strategic framework through which local planning decisions are taken within each locality.
Initially adopted in 2017, it is now being revised as part of a systematic review to ensure it remains current and consistent with both latest national guidelines and local circumstances – for example population change, the expected closure of RAF Scampton and the increased emphasis on the need to take positive climate action by each partner council.
Whilst the new Local Plan has been based on the 2017 Local Plan, with many policies and the overall ambitions of the plan remaining the same, there have been some policy changes/updates together with structural changes to the document to aid navigation of the policies, which will mean it looks quite different.
Key policy changes include:
- Climate change: The plan is ambition in trying to address climate change in a number of policies, 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.
- Housing: Reflecting the Government’s new housing needs methodology and the Central Lincolnshire’s housing and economic needs assessment evidence, the housing requirement of the plan has been reduced from 1,540 homes each year under the 2017 Local Plan to between 1,060 and 1,325 homes each year in the new plan, 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 Site 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.
Commenting on the current consultation that is now underway, Chairman of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee, Cllr Owen Bierley, said:
“Throughout this process we have resolutely listened to all of the feedback we have received, adapting the plan as much as possible from the comments that people have given us.
“We value the contributions people have made through our earlier consultations, and that has allowed us to strengthen the content, direction and objectives of the overall plan, which in-turn will better reflect the aspirations and needs of Central Lincolnshire.”
The Proposed Submission Local Plan and its supporting documents will be available to view throughout the consultation which runs between 16 March and 9 May 2022 on the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan review pages. The website also provides details of where hard copies of documents can be viewed.
Responses from this consultation will be sent onto the Government-appointed Local Plan Inspector to be considered as part of the examination of the Local Plan.