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Big Plans in Central Lincolnshire

August 29, 2013 12:41 PM
By Councillor David Cotton - West Lindsey District Councillor on the Central Lincolnshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee.
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

David Cotton

Four years ago West Lindsey District Council (WLDC) joined with North Kesteven District Council, the City of Lincoln Council and Lincolnshire County Council in a joint planning authority. At the time no other councils in England had agreed to work together in this fashion.

The joint committee has been steadily working through planning policies which will form the core strategy required by the Government. We have had to factor in the Government housing target for Central Lincolnshire at 42,500 houses over the next thirty years, the life span of the plan. The exercise has taken us to areas of planning we had not envisaged. In addition we have to consider the provision of employment land as well as housing. Actually we want building to go ahead in tandem.

We have also considered how to build and where to build. It became clear that large scale building in the areas fringing Lincoln is not an option as this area has been subject to major development over the last twenty five years. Instead WLDC had begun to look at Gainsborough, Market Rasen and Caistor all of which had been somewhat neglected in the dash to build around Lincoln. It was agreed that there would be Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUE) around the towns of central Lincolnshire which in turn would hopefully make the market towns more attractive to businesses, retail and manufacturing.

Central Lincolnshire is also able to punch above its weight as it is as big as many counties and so could look to strategic projects as well such as road and other transport links.

For Gainsborough we have planned three new neighbourhoods as well as some smaller development in the villages of the surrounding area.

Finally our policies are now out to consultation prior to the document being submitted to the Government inspector next year. Most importantly now is the opportunity for the public to make those views known so they can be taken in to account in any modification at the end of the consultation period. The choice is either to ignore the opportunity and do nothing or to help formulate the future of Gainsborough.

Comment, which has to be made by September 9th, can be made via letter or Email and at the Central Lincolnshire website at

Copies of the plan should also be available at the Guildhall and at the Town Library.