Climate action responses for Central Lincolnshire to be laid out in Local Plan review

Date Published: 18 February 2022

A ground-breaking policy framework for how a partnership of councils will address climate change and achieve carbon-net-zero across Central Lincolnshire has been mapped out.

In line with each of the four councils’ intentions to act on climate change and promote more environmentally resilient communities, a review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan is bringing forward an ambitious range of policy interventions considered necessary to reach that goal.

Working together, North Kesteven district, West Lindsey district, Lincoln city and Lincolnshire county councils are responsible for the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan which guides the way in which development is planned and permitted across a combined 820 square mile area through to 2040.

With all the Central Lincolnshire authorities and the joint committee overseeing the Local Plan having acknowledged the importance of addressing climate change, a review has explored how it could address the need to reduce carbon emissions in Central Lincolnshire and facilitate the area to become carbon-net-zero as a key part of addressing the climate change emergency.

Looking more widely, the revised plan is building on the existing plan (adopted in 2017) in ensuring Central Lincolnshire remains a pleasant place to live, work and visit; providing adequate homes and jobs in the right locations for a growing population; protecting communities from harmful development; and delivering substantial biodiversity gain.  

Through a public consultation last summer, more than 400 responses were made on the plan’s parameters and policies. These comments have all been carefully considered and the plan has been updated, where appropriate, to create  a final version which is proposed to be submitted for independent examination.

A meeting of the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee on Monday February 28 is recommended to approve the revised plan, put it back out for further public review and submit it to the Secretary of State for public examination.

Cllr Owen Bierley, Leader of West Lindsey District Council and chairman of the joint committee, said the aim was to bring forward a Local Plan which, when taken as a whole, will demonstrably assist in Central Lincolnshire becoming a carbon-net-zero sub-region.

“As individual partners and collectively as a joint committee, we are all very mindful of the task ahead of us in facilitating appropriate mechanisms and approaches that respond positively to the climate emergency. Officers who have worked extensively on this review advise that the scope of the plan being presented to the committee is considered the most sustainable to achieve this goal at a Central Lincolnshire level.”

“Many of the responses to last summer’s consultation were supportive, particularly in respect of the climate measures we have outlined, which is very encouraging as we unashamedly seek to lead the way in this regard.”

A suite of climate change policies are proposed, some very new and relatively untested in this country, relating to large-scale renewables to meet the local energy need from new development proposed in the plan; promoting high-performing energy efficiency standards for new development; requiring the installation of electric vehicle charging points; and, promoting a circular economy of re-use and recycling.

The revisions also include:

  • Adequate allocation of housing sites to meet the proposed requirement of 1,325 homes per year or 29,150 between 2018 and 2040 across the area.
  • Biodiversity policies that are deliverable, compliant with the new requirements in the Environment Act and achieve true benefits.
  • Changes to provide greater protection to the valuable airspace above RAF Scampton and better ensure that the heritage of the site is taken into account and protected.

Using the existing adopted Local Plan as a starting point, a significant amount of evidence was developed to ensure the policies within the plan continue to form a sound basis for managing development and making decisions in Central Lincolnshire. Underpinned by a clear vision from the committee for what the plan needs to achieve for Central Lincolnshire, and shaped by responses from the public, the development industry and other organisations, it is a direct product of a successful partnership approach and the input received during consultations.

Members are advised that having already grappled with several of the main challenges that the plan seeks to address over the past three years, the Proposed Submission Local Plan will help ensure that the committee’s vision for Central Lincolnshire is realised.

Subject to the committee’s decision there will be a further period of observation and comment on the plan between mid March and early May. Details will follow.