2. Objectives, Strategy, Monitoring and Review

2.1.

It is important that the Local Plan should clearly explain the objectives it intends to achieve. This has a number of benefits:

  • it allows the Plan’s relationship to the Council’s overall strategy and to the strategies of other organisations to be understood;
  • it gives the Plan’s policies and proposals a context;
  • it allows the Council and other interested parties to examine whether the Plan achieves what it is supposed to; and
  • it will help to make the Plan more understandable.

The Local Plan's objectives – Sustainable development

2.2.

North Kesteven District Council has set out its aim for North Kesteven to be a District of 100 flourishing communities, and has the following three objectives:

  • A good quality of life for all residents
  • A thriving and prosperous economy and
  • A clean, green and safe environment
2.3.

The Local Plan is intended to make the maximum possible contribution towards the achievement of the Council’s general aim and objectives, and is intended to ensure that the on-going development of the District is sustainable – i.e. having a proper balance between economic, social and environmental factors.

2.4.

The Plan's aim is to ensure that residents’ quality of life is not reduced and, indeed, is improved wherever possible. At the same time, the Plan aims to ensure that development during the Plan period does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs and to enjoy a high quality environment.

2.5.

In more detail, the Plan’s objectives are:

  • To ensure that the District’s economy will grow and become more diverse.
  • To meet the District’s need for more and better paid jobs.
  • To promote rural enterprise and diversification.
  • To protect the District’s air, soil, and water resources.
  • To ensure that new development is safe (in terms of highway safety, flood risk, risk of crime, etc.).
  • To maximise access throughout the District for everyone, including people with disabilities.
  • To safeguard and enhance the District’s historic, landscape, cultural and wildlife assets.
  • To ensure that new development preserves the individual character of the District’s different settlements and different landscape areas, and makes the maximum possible contribution to the District’s visual quality.
  • To make the best use of the District’s existing built-up areas.
  • To reduce people’s need to travel, by ensuring that homes, jobs, and services are close to one another.
  • To facilitate walking, cycling and public transport use.
  • To meet the District’s need for new homes.
  • To ensure that people will have access to the recreational facilities they require.
  • To make the best use of capacity in infrastructure.
  • To sustain and reinforce the role of the District’s towns and other service settlements.

Each of the Plan’s objectives will contribute towards the achievement of one or more of the Council’s three corporate objectives set out above.

Locational strategy

2.6.

Most of North Kesteven’s land area is countryside, but the majority of the District’s population lives in approximately 100 settlements that vary greatly in size and service base. They range from the two towns of Sleaford and North Hykeham with populations of over 10,000 people, through ‘service villages’ that provide for the daily needs of their populations and that of a small hinterland, down to the smallest hamlets that consist of just a few homes. The Council will, with a few exceptions, seek to achieve a sustainable form of development, concentrate new development into existing settlements and, in particular, will use larger settlements as the focal points for housing, jobs, shopping, leisure, services, and public transport. The advantages of this approach are as follows:

  1. The character of the District’s countryside and smaller settlements is protected, whilst larger settlements can generally absorb growth with less likelihood of harm.
  2. Locating homes, jobs, schools, shops, community, health and recreational facilities close to one another reduces people’s need to travel, and facilitates access by public transport, walking and cycling. This has advantages both in terms of being more environmentally friendly, but also allows those sections of the community without a car to have easier access to jobs, shops, and services.
  3. Concentrating development within larger settlements will maximise opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
  4. Locating non-residential uses in locations where rail accessibility is focussed helps to promote more sustainable transport choices for moving freight.
  5. Concentrating most uses into larger settlements helps to avoid the high infrastructure costs of servicing a widely dispersed rural area.
2.7.

Regional and strategic policies identify Lincoln as a Principal Urban Area in the region. They seek to achieve the significant strengthening of its regional role and promote a sustainable pattern of development in the surrounding settlements. The Council has drawn up two hierarchies of settlements, one for the Lincoln Policy Area (see Appendix 1 for a list of those parishes within the Lincoln Policy Area) and one for the remainder of the District.

LINCOLN POLICY AREA

2.8.

In terms of land within North Kesteven that falls within the Lincoln Policy Area, the first preference is for those parts of the District that function as part of the City’s built-up area.

2.9.

First tier - Lincoln’s built-up area

Although North Hykeham and South Hykeham Fosseway together are a settlement in their own right, they also function as part of greater Lincoln’s built-up area. Furthermore, they offer:

  • a wide range of employment opportunities, and have significant potential to offer more;
  • primary, secondary and adult education;
  • significant services (daily and weekly shopping, some specialist shops, financial and office services, medical services, and a range of community and recreational facilities);
  • opportunities for travel by public transport, cycle and on foot; and
  • relatively significant opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
2.10.

North Hykeham/South Hykeham Fosseway is the first-choice location for development in the North Kesteven part of the Lincoln Policy Area. In identifying land for housing or employment, the Council will focus upon North Hykeham/South Hykeham Fosseway, and will encourage windfall housing and employment developments. It will also be the main location for further investment in shopping, educational, social, health, leisure and community services (provided that this does not conflict with the Structure Plan's promotion of central Lincoln as the most appropriate location for retail and service uses within the greater Lincoln area). Public transport services from the surrounding rural parts of the Lincoln Policy Area are focussed into North Hykeham/South Hykeham Fosseway and consequently these facilities, although centralised, will be accessible to all sections of the community. In identifying sites for development and in considering proposals for windfall developments, preference will first be given to:

  1. Previously-developed land and buildings within the settlement 
  2. Extensions to the settlement.
2.11.

Second tier - Service villages

Bassingham, Bracebridge Heath, Branston, Heighington, Metheringham, Skellingthorpe, Waddington, Washingborough and Witham St Hughs are not directly adjacent to Lincoln’s built-up area, but they are all large villages, which offer (or, in the case of Witham St Hughs, is a location where significant development is proposed that will leave it as a large village, which offers):

  • a modest range of employment opportunities, with some potential to offer more;
  • at least primary and, in the case of Branston, secondary education;
  • a service role for a rural hinterland, offering a range of convenience shops, including a Post Office, some community and recreational facilities and, in some cases, medical or financial services;
  • public transport services linking to Lincoln and North Hykeham/South Hykeham Fosseway; and
  • modest opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
2.12.

The service villages are the second-choice location for development in the North Kesteven part of the Lincoln Policy Area. In identifying land for housing, the Council will consider the service villages after North Hykeham/South Hykeham Fosseway, and will encourage windfall housing developments. The appropriate scale of residential development for each village will depend upon its need for growth (to help sustain existing services and facilities), and its ability to accommodate growth without undue harm to its character and without overloading its infrastructure. New employment development up to a maximum of 5ha will be appropriate, provided it is of a scale to meet local needs only. Service villages are also appropriate locations for further minor investment in shopping, educational, social, health, leisure and community services that will serve the needs of the settlement’s community, or that of the hinterland served by the village. In identifying sites for development and in considering proposals for windfall developments, preference will first be given to:

  1. Previously-developed land and buildings within settlement curtilages.
  2. Extensions to the settlements.
2.13.

Third tier - Villages

Aubourn, Boothby Graffoe, Branston Booths, Canwick, Coleby, Doddington, Dunston, Eagle, Harmston, Nocton, North Scarle, Potterhanworth, South Hykeham, and Thorpe on the Hill are not directly adjacent to Lincoln’s built-up area, but they are all significantly-sized villages, which offer:

  • limited employment opportunities, with limited potential to offer more;
  • no educational facilities or primary education only;
  • a more limited range of shops, community and recreational facilities than the service villages;
  • more limited public transport services linking to Lincoln and North Hykeham/South Hykeham Fosseway 
  • limited opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
2.14.

These villages are the third choice location for development in the North Kesteven part of the Lincoln Policy Area. They are not considered suitable locations for housing and employment land allocations. Significant windfall developments will generally be inappropriate, and any proposals will be considered in the context of national and strategic planning guidance and the housing requirements set out in the Local Plan. Small-scale residential infill development of up to 3 houses will be considered on plots in otherwise built-up frontages and on previously-developed land within settlement curtilages, provided it is of a scale appropriate to the village, is necessary to meet identified local needs, or will support local services which could otherwise become unviable. Proposals for affordable housing will be considered under the exceptions policy set down in the Plan. New employment development will be appropriate, provided it is of a scale to meet local needs only, where it provides the most sustainable option for employment in the village. Villages may also be appropriate locations for minor investment in shopping, social, health, leisure and community services that will serve the needs of the settlement’s community. Sites for development will not generally be identified, and in considering proposals for windfall developments, preference will first be given to:

  1. Previously-developed land and buildings within settlement curtilages.
  2. Plots in otherwise built-up frontages.
2.15.

Fourth tier - Hamlets

All other settlements within the Lincoln Policy Area are considered as hamlets. They are not adjacent to Lincoln’s built-up area, are small in size, and offer:

  • Very few or no employment opportunities, and no potential to offer more
  • No educational facilities
  • Few or no shops, community or recreational facilities
  • Very limited or no public transport services
  • Very few opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.

These hamlets are not generally considered as suitable locations for development.

REST OF THE DISTRICT

2.16.

First tier - Town

Sleaford (including Rauceby Hospital) is the only free-standing town within the District. It offers:

  • a wide range of employment opportunities, and has significant potential to offer more;
  • primary, secondary and adult/tertiary education;
  • significant services (daily and weekly shopping, specialist shops, financial and office services, medical services, and a wide range of community and recreational facilities);
  • excellent opportunities for travel by public transport, cycle and on foot; and
  • significant opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
2.17.

Sleaford is the first-choice location for development in the part of the District that does not fall within the Lincoln Policy Area. In identifying land for housing or employment, the Council will focus upon Sleaford, and will encourage windfall housing and employment developments. It will also be the main location for further investment in shopping, educational, social, health, leisure and community services. Public transport services from the surrounding rural parts of the District are focussed into Sleaford and consequently these facilities, although centralised, will be accessible to all sections of the community. In identifying sites for development and in considering proposals for windfall developments, preference will first be given to:

  1. Previously-developed land and buildings within Sleaford’s curtilage.
  2. Extensions to the settlement.
2.18.

Second tier - Service villages

Billinghay, Heckington, Navenby and Ruskington are large villages that offer:

  • A modest range of employment opportunities, with some potential to offer more.
  • At least primary and, in the cases of Billinghay and Ruskington, secondary education.
  • A service role for a rural hinterland, offering a range of convenience shops, including a Post Office, some community and recreational facilities and, in some cases, medical or financial services.
  • Public transport services linking to Sleaford and Lincoln; and
  • Modest opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
2.19.

The service villages are the second-choice location for development in the parts of the District outside of the Lincoln Policy Area. In identifying land for housing, the Council will consider the service villages after Sleaford, and will encourage windfall housing developments. The appropriate scale of residential development for each village will depend upon its need for growth (to help sustain existing services and facilities), and its ability to accommodate growth without undue harm to its character and without overloading its infrastructure. New employment development up to a maximum of 5ha will be appropriate, provided it is of a scale to meet local needs only. Service villages are also appropriate locations for further minor investment in shopping, educational, social, health, leisure and community services that will serve the needs of the settlement’s community, or that of the hinterland served by the village. In identifying sites for development and in considering proposals for windfall developments, preference will first be given to:

  1. Previously-developed land and buildings within settlement curtilages
  2. Extensions to the settlements
2.20.

Third tier - villages

Anwick, Ashby de la Launde, Beckingham, Blankney, Brant Broughton, Carlton-le-Moorland, Chapel Hill, Cranwell, Digby, Dorrington, Ewerby, Great Hale, Helpringham, Kirkby-la-Thorpe, Leadenham, Leasingham, Little Hale, Martin, North Kyme, North Rauceby, Norton Disney, Osbournby, Scopwick, Scredington, Silk Willoughby, South Kyme, South Rauceby, Swaton, Swinderby, Tattershall Bridge, Threekingham, Timberland, Walcot, Walcott, Welbourn, Wellingore and Wilsford are significantly-sized villages, which offer:

  • Limited employment opportunities, with limited potential to offer more.
  • No educational facilities or primary education only.
  • A more limited range of shops, community and recreational facilities than the service villages.
  • More limited public transport services; and
  • Limited opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
2.21.

These villages are the third choice location for development in the part of the District outside the Lincoln Policy Area. They are not considered suitable locations for housing or employment land allocations. Significant windfall developments will generally be inappropriate, and any proposals will be considered in the context of national and strategic planning guidance and the housing requirements set out in the Local Plan. Small scale residential infill development of up to 3 houses will be considered on plots in otherwise built-up frontages and on previously-developed land within settlement curtilages, provided it is of a scale appropriate to the village, is necessary to meet identified local needs, or will support local services which could otherwise become unviable. Proposals for affordable housing will be considered under the exceptions policy set down in the Plan. New employment development will be appropriate, provided it is of a scale to meet local needs only, where it provides the most sustainable option for employment in the village. Villages may also be appropriate locations for minor investment in shopping, social, health, leisure and community services that will serve the needs of the settlement’s community. Sites for development will not generally be identified, and in considering proposals for windfall developments, preference will first be given to:

  1. Previously-developed land and buildings within settlement curtilages.
  2. Plots in otherwise built-up frontages.
2.22.

Fourth tier - Hamlets

All other settlements within those parts of the District outside of the Lincoln Policy Area are considered as hamlets. They are small in size, and offer:

  • Very few or no employment opportunities, and no potential to offer more.
  • No educational facilities.
  • Few or no shops, community or recreational facilities.
  • Very limited or no public transport services.
  • Very few opportunities for the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings.
These hamlets are not generally considered as suitable locations for development.
2.23.

In deciding where development should take place, the Council will take account of the above settlement hierarchy. However, it will also take account of certain ‘common-sense’ issues, i.e. avoiding any locations where:

  • Land is unstable to an unacceptable degree.
  • Land is at unacceptable risk of flooding.

Monitoring and review

2.24.

It is important that the Local Plan is kept as up-to-date and relevant as possible. To achieve this, the Council will monitor those issues that may be expected to affect the development and planning of its area. The Council will publish annual monitoring reports concerned with:

2.25.

Housing

  • How many new homes have been provided, and in what locations?
  • How many new homes are committed in planning permissions and Local Plan allocations, and in what locations?
  • How many new homes have been provided by the re-use of previously-developed land and buildings?
  • How many new homes have been provided by the development of windfall sites?
  • How many affordable homes have been provided, and in what locations?
  • The type and size of new homes provided
  • The density at which development has taken place
  • How many car parking spaces have been provided as part of residential developments?
  • How much public open space has been provided as part of residential developments?
2.26.

Economy

  • How much land has been developed for employment purposes, in what locations and for what use?
  • How much employment land is committed in planning permissions and Local Plan allocations, and in what locations?
  • How much employment development has been provided by the development of windfall sites?
2.27.

Other issues will also be monitored:

  • Outcome and nature of planning appeals and enforcement procedure.
  • Departures from the Plan.
  • Population, household, car ownership and labour force data from Censuses.
  • Traffic and travel to work data.
  • The availability of open space, children’s’ play space, and outdoor sports space.
  • The type, size and location of retail, service and entertainment developments.
  • Car parking provision and use.
  • The District’s environmental assets - its landscape diversity, biodiversity, tree cover, protected species, archaeology, listed buildings, conservation areas and Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.
2.28.
This monitoring will allow the Council to assess the success and effectiveness of the Plan’s policies and proposals, and will help to indicate the need for future reviews.

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