The Local Plan will be controversial and is likely to face significant resistance in local communities - but East Lindsey District Council has had no choice but to produce the plans following a requirement from central government to meet the nation’s housing demands.
ELDC is one of just 62 councils in the country that has so far failed to deliver on this Whitehall requirement.
The Council produced a previous draft Local Plan in 2014 - but was told to think again by a government inspector, partly due to a lack of provision for Traveller and Gypsy sites, and an underestimation of the housing supply required.
District Councillors approved the draft document at a Planning Policy committee meeting last Thursday (April 14), and it will now be voted on by Full Council before requiring approval by a government inspector. If approved, the Local Plan will then face a public consultation, followed by a district-wide referendum.
At the meeting last Thursday, Chairman Coun Richard Fry told councillors: “There are time constraints - If we don’t do it, someone will come in and do it for us.”
The authority already has a Local Plan, published in 1995, but it now needs to be replaced because it is out of date.
According to the latest draft, the proposed figure of new homes, district-wide, over the next 15 years is put at 7,815.
In some cases, homes will be permitted on land previously used for commercial activity if it has ceased to be viable.
To this end, a brownfield register is currently being compiled.
The chairman revealed that there are currently more than 3,000 housing plots which remain unbuilt despite having planning consent.
The committee was advised that council officers were awaiting clarification on the status of former military-owned land, which is not currently designated as brownfield, and what redevelopment might be permissible.
The chairman noted that 38 per cent of East Lindsey’s land is located within a flood plain, and this places development constraints.
The sea defences are thought currently to be in good repair, but there needs to be a strategy for renewal - a problem given the squeeze on finance from central funds.
To this end, the council is preparing to look at the options to raise funding for flood defences.
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