Up to 15 minutes are allowed for public participation. Participants are restricted to 3 minutes each.
The Chairman welcomed Councillor John Evans, Chairman of Nettleham Parish Council, to the Committee and invited him to address the Committee. Councillor Evans made the following statement.
“Thank you for the opportunity to address you on the matter of the draft CLLP revised plan.
Nettleham Parish Council is currently undertaking a review of their Nettleham Neighbourhood Plan, to tie in with the CLLP revision. So we have been gathering evidence as to the strength of feeling on this issue. I don’t have sufficient time to comment on many of the matters of concern regarding the draft plan so will focus here on a key area of major interest to our residents: new housing. I can’t speak on behalf of the other Lincoln Fringe villages but strongly suspect my sentiments are shared by them.
The introduction and strategy plan quite rightly says new housing should be focused in urban areas for environmental reasons. We are therefore at a loss to understand the proposals for new development shown in S79, increasing housing allocations in large villages. We notice that that the total number of houses to now be delivered by 2040 has been reduced by 17% overall and by 21% in the Lincoln Strategy area to 18,656. However under the latest plan for large villages the number of new homes on new sites proposed for Nettleham village has increased by 175 or 10% of the current housing stock in the village. And will almost double the number of new homes proposed only 4 years ago.
This is despite the fact that under current development plans including completed building and homes with planning permission we will already produce an over delivery of some 40 homes ie 16.8% by 2040, with an additional 30 under discussion.
A plea from the Lincoln fringe villages, please give us a break!!
There should not be an expectation of more growth in villages when the targets set in 2017 from a higher central lincs target of growth will be met or even exceeded with existing plans. To push more and more development into the large villages will just turn them in to large housing estates dotted around the county. The villages will lose their identity and individual character. Without adequate infrastructure and employment opportunities they will then add to the increase in car use to travel into Lincoln as they become dormitory towns.
I would also like to mention some, what I would perceive as, potential reputational damage to West Lindsey if this draft plan is adopted in the current form. West Lindsey District Council has been at the forefront of encouraging Neighbourhood Plans, and many local groups have spent many hours producing neighbourhood development plans on the understanding that they would make a difference. It's supposed to be about empowering local people to make decisions about the shape of future development in their community. The lack of consultation in the preparation of the draft plan, and the refusal by West Lindsey District Council to send staff to attend local events, to attend public meetings to explain the plan, seriously damages that reputation. Nettleham was the first in West Lindsey to produce a Neighbourhood Plan with site allocations, which had been systematically evaluated and incorporated into the 2017 Central Lincs Local Plan. There's been no subsequent discussion on the sites or evidence of rigorous site evaluations in the draft plan. In fact, one of the sites that's mentioned in the plan, a proposal for 75 homes has actually been turned down by the planning inspectorate on four different occasions. So we put it in the draft plan! It appears to me that under this draft plan, the role of the neighbourhood planning has been reduced to producing some design codes and designating a few small infill areas. That is not what I would call shaping the future of the community. I'm sure many groups across the district are going to feel let down by this. Thank you very much for your attention.”
The Chairman thanked Councillor Evans for his contribution and noted that his comments in relation to Nettleham would also apply to other villages in the district. It was highlighted that the Prosperous Communities Committee meeting was to agree the District Council’s formal response to the CLLP consultation. The decision in relation to the Local Plan contents and approach, including allocations was made by the CLJSPC. This was, however, a consultation draft and as such members of the community, stakeholders, Parish Councils and other community groups were able to provide a consultation response on the proposed sites. It was added that If new planning matters were brought to the attention of the Local Plan Team, including those relating to site allocations, then these would be looked at as part of the wider assessment of consultation responses and presented back to the CLJSPC in October. Following this a further, final draft would be produced and consulted on again in Early Spring 2022 before an Examination in Public in summer/autumn 2022. With regard to Councillor Evans’ comments regarding the potential for reputational damage, the Chairman assured him that a response would be provided to him in due course.