Agenda item


The Committee heard from the Planning Policy Manager regarding the draft Local Plan consultation response. She explained that, since the Issues and Options consultation in June and July 2019, to which West Lindsey District Council submitted formal comments for consideration, the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Team and officers at the Central Lincolnshire Districts had been developing the evidence base for the new Local Plan.


West Lindsey District Council, in the role of consultee, had an opportunity to provide comments on the Consultation Draft Local Plan which consisted of a number of questions endorsing or not draft polices, and provided opportunities for comment and additional evidence as necessary.


As this was only a review, many of the policies remained largely unchanged since the Local Plan was adopted in 2017, however there had been some changes of note, specifically the change in layout and policy numbering to aid in navigation. Other areas of note were:


·         Reduction on the housing requirement figure from 1540 to a range between 1060 and 1325

·         Approach to housing growth in medium and small villages due to the ability to allocate sites for 10 or more dwellings

·         Expansion of the retail hierarchy to include important local and rural centres

·         Addition of a suite of policies focussed specifically on mitigating the impact of Climate Change and moving Central Lincolnshire towards carbon neutrality for all new development subject to planning permission.


Members heard this was the second of three consultations on the Local Plan review which gave West Lindsey District Council an opportunity to comment, shape and inform the final draft to be submitted for examination.


The Prosperous Communities Committee, as West Lindsey District Council’s Policy Committee, were requested to consider the Consultation Draft Local Plan paper and provide, where appropriate, responses to the issues raised.


The Chairman and Vice Chairs of Prosperous Communities Committee were invited to a briefing on 2 July 2021. During the briefing, an overview of the Consultation Draft Local Plan was provided and key policy areas considered. Along with the briefing and with the support of Officers, an initial consultation response had been drafted on behalf of West Lindsey District Council which was being presented to the Committee to consider, agree and endorse for submission.


The Chairman thanked the Planning Policy Manager and invited comments from the Committee.


There was support amongst Committee Members for the comments from Councillor Evans during the public participation item regarding the allocation of new builds in rural locations. Members felt it was important to protect Lincolnshire villages and avoid a creeping effect of over-development that would be likely to lead to the loss of character across the district. It was suggested that quality of development should be prioritised over quantity, and that villages should have a greater say. It was also felt that the impact of Neighbourhood Plans was in jeopardy and it was important for communities to maintain influence over their localities. Members welcomed the emphasis on hedgerows and verges, supporting the need for re-diversification, as well as the classification of Market Rasen and Caistor as market towns. It was acknowledged that it was as important to protect the character of these market towns as it was the villages. As a specific concern, Vice-Chairman J. McNeill noted a lack of clarity regarding the allocations across Market Rasen town and Middle Rasen parish. He suggested the allocations needed to be clearer for all parties to understand.


There was discussion regarding the site map in relation to potential locations for the placement of wind turbines. It was explained that the purpose was to broadly identify areas where sustainable energy options, such as wind turbines, could be located, however, there would still remain the need to apply for planning permission and each application would be considered on its own merits, as was currently the case. Members were keen for energy efficiency to be championed, both for new developments and retro-fitting of existing buildings. The importance of reducing the carbon footprint across the district was emphasised, with Members highlighting that transport options and ease of accessibility needed to be considered with all proposed development allocations.


Members of the Committee voiced their concerns regarding the development of the Scampton airfield and the significance of maintaining links within West Lindsey. It was highlighted this was ongoing work and council officers were working closely with the RAF regarding the future of the site.


Members sought clarification regarding the next steps in the consultation. It was confirmed that the draft response would be submitted, incorporating comments from the meeting. The Chairman thanked everyone for the work involved and, having been proposed and seconded, he took the vote. It was therefore


            RESOLVED that


a)    the content of the consultation response, as drafted, be fully considered and further observations and commentary from within the Prosperous Communities Committee meeting be contributed as appropriate; and


b)    the proposed consultation submission in relation to the Reg.18 Public Participation stage as identified within the indicative timetable contained with the Local Development scheme (September 2020) be agreed and endorsed; and


c)    authority be delegated to the Assistant Director for Planning and Regeneration (in consultation with the Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee) to submit the final version of West Lindsey District Council’s formal response to the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Reg. 18 Draft Local Plan Consultation incorporating any additional comments expressed and agreed throughout the debate.

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