RURAL MATTERS: A new, monthly column by Campaign to Protect Rural England Lincolnshire branch acting chairman Tim Machin
Residents in The South Holland and Boston areas have just been consulted on future housing and employment land allocations across the area, as part of the SE Lincolnshire’s Local Plan deliberations.
The Plan will set council development policies for the next 20 years which developers will have to abide by when making planning applications.
Land for around 17,000 new homes and 18,000 new jobs has been identified, with development in most villages and towns across the area.
Exercises like this focus the mind on how you, as an individual, can have a say on what developers can build and where. Until recently only county or district councils had this planning power but since 2011, the Localism Act has enabled Parish and Town Councils to write their own Neighbourhood Plans to influence what happens on their doorstep.
With a plan in place, local communities can…’ choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built; what those buildings should look like; what infrastructure should be provided and grant planning permission for the new buildings they want to see go ahead’. (quote from the Governments guidance on Neighbourhood Planning)
There has been very little take-up of this new power amongst Lincolnshire’s 440 or so Parish Councils, with only a handful of them working on a Neighbourhood Plan. The CPRE and ACRE (Action for Communities in Rural England) are holding a conference for Parish Councils in Lincolnshire to explain what’s involved and what support is available.
All the conference places have sold out, so perhaps a more planning influence will be coming to your community soon.
If you are interested in shaping the place where you live then talk to your Parish Council about whether they are thinking about a Neighbourhood Plan and how you can get involved. If you don’t have a parish or town council you can even apply to set up a Neighbourhood Forum with other local people to do it yourself.
If you want to find out more visit our website: planninghelp.cpre.org.uk/improve-where-you-live