Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Review - Proposed Submission Local Plan

Proposed Submission Local Plan

8 Transport and Infrastructure

8.0 Strategic Infrastructure Requirements

8.0.1 Growth and expansion in Central Lincolnshire will be supported by necessary infrastructure such as roads, schools, and health and community facilities to ensure that our communities have access to essential facilities.

8.0.2 The Central Lincolnshire Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) has been prepared alongside this Local Plan and will be regularly updated. The IDP is produced to identify the range of infrastructure types and projects required to support growth and it identifies likely funding sources, delivery agents, timescales and priorities. Such projects include:

  • Water and Drainage – water supply, wastewater, flood risk management and resilience and water quality;
  • Energy – electricity, gas and district heating systems;
  • Communications Infrastructure – improved broadband coverage and provision;
  • Leisure and green infrastructure – sport, open space and community facilities;
  • Education – nursery and pre-school, primary, secondary, further education and higher education;
  • Health – hospitals, health centres, GP surgeries, public health and preventative health care;
  • Transport – highways, cycle and pedestrian facilities, rail, bus, park and ride, travel management, waterways and car parking.

8.0.3 The infrastructure necessary to support growth in Central Lincolnshire will be delivered by a variety of partners including the Councils, Government departments, public agencies, and utility service providers, all of which will have their own investment plans in place. The role of the IDP is to ensure that all the service providers’ strategies and investment plans are developed alongside and align with the Local Plan to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure.

8.0.4 The delivery of infrastructure to support growth will rely on collaborative working in order to establish and align funding sources and also ensure that works achieve best value. Contributions to infrastructure may be made in a variety of ways including direct provision and commuted sums from developments.

Education Facilities

8.0.5 Within Central Lincolnshire, a number of primary schools have capacity issues and are oversubscribed in many instances. Based on current pupil projections Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford are projected to have limited capacity during the plan period as well as in some rural primary schools.

8.0.6 Recent growth in primary school age children is now starting to impact upon capacity within secondary schools. Within secondary schools, there is limited capacity to accommodate growth in pupil numbers in a number of locations.

8.0.7 The Building Communities of Specialist Provision Strategy has been developed to address the provision of school places for Special Educational Needs (SEN) pupils. Through implementation of the Strategy, there will be a modest increase in SEN school places, of 2%. The primary aim, though, is to create an integrated and sustainable school system which will enable children to attend their nearest special school confident that their health and educational needs can be met.

8.0.8 It is therefore likely that new primary, secondary and SEN school provision across Central Lincolnshire will be needed to accommodate increased demand arising from development across the plan period. How new provision is provided will vary, however, it is anticipated that the SUEs in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford will provide on-site facilities, while other sites will provide financial contributions.

Health Facilities

8.0.9 The level of healthcare provision within Central Lincolnshire is currently adequate to serve the existing population of the area. However, future developments will have an impact on health provision and put additional pressures on resources. The NHS Long Term Plan seeks to modernise the way in which services are provided, focussing on Primary care supported by community care, therefore reducing reliance on hospital based services. The need for, type and location of additional healthcare facilities over the Plan period will depend on the location, amount and type of housing being developed, and the resultant population demographic.

8.0.10 There will, therefore, be a need for new healthcare facilities as a result of the housing development proposed within this plan. These needs will vary across Central Lincolnshire, as will the appropriate response for meeting needs. It is anticipated that the SUEs in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford will provide on-site facilities or possibly contributions to existing facilities where appropriate, whilst other development sites will provide financial contributions towards the provision of new or the expansion of existing facilities where these are identified as being necessary by NHS England.

Delivery of Infrastructure

8.0.11 While every effort will be made to ensure the timely provision of infrastructure, the following policy will be used to restrict development from commencing or, in certain cases, from being permitted, in the absence of proven infrastructure capacity or acceptable mitigation.

8.0.12 Each of the Central Lincolnshire districts adopted a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in 2017. A joint Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document was also adopted by the Districts in 2018 which sets out in more detail how contributions will be calculated. These documents alongside the IDP inform the levels of contributions from both CIL and S106 needed to fund the infrastructure necessary to support development in Central Lincolnshire.

8.0.13 Where there is a major development proposal which requires its own (on-site and/or off-site) infrastructure, and the proposal is subject to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and/or project level Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Regulations, the Councils will require the developer to consider the likely effects of the development and all of its supporting infrastructure as a whole, so that potential in-combination effects can be fully assessed before any decisions are taken.

8.0.14 Policy S45 below sets out the overarching framework for delivering infrastructure to support growth, however, other policies within the plan set out more specific requirements on matters such as health, transport, water, community facilities and open space/ green infrastructure.

Policy S45: Strategic Infrastructure Requirements

New Development should be supported by, and have good access to infrastructure.

Infrastructure

Planning permission will only be granted if it can be demonstrated that there is, or will be, sufficient infrastructure capacity to support and meet all the necessary requirements arising from the proposed development. Development proposals must consider all of the infrastructure implications of a scheme; not just those on the site or its immediate vicinity. Conditions or planning obligations, as part of a package or combination of infrastructure delivery measures, are likely to be required for many proposals to ensure that new development meets this principle.

Consideration must be given to the likely timing of infrastructure provision. As such, development may need to be phased. Conditions or a planning obligation may be used to secure this phasing arrangement.

Healthcare Facilities

Proposals for new health care facilities should relate well to public transport services, walking and cycling routes and be easily accessible to all sectors of the community. Proposals which utilise opportunities for the multi-use and co-location of health facilities with other services and facilities, and thus co-ordinate local care and provide convenience for the community, will be particularly supported. Planning obligations are likely to require contributions to primary healthcare provision where there is a demonstrated shortfall in capacity.

Education Provision

Proposals for new or extended school facilities will be expected to relate well to the population that they are to serve, ensuring that they are easily accessible for all. Conditions or planning obligations are likely to require education provision where there is a demonstrated shortfall in capacity.

Development Contributions

Developers will be expected to contribute towards the delivery of relevant infrastructure, either through direct provision or contribution towards the provision of local and strategic infrastructure to meet the needs arising from the development either alone or cumulatively with other developments.

8.1 Safeguarded Land

8.1.1 Sometimes infrastructure which may not currently be anticipated to be delivered in the short term or indeed necessary to support short-term needs is likely to be crucial to support development over the longer term. This may lead to, on a fairly exceptional basis, the need to ‘safeguard’ land from development that would impact directly on its deliverability in order to protect it for future infrastructure needs.

8.1.2 A new North Hykeham Relief Road would link the Eastern Bypass (at the A15 Sleaford Road) with the existing A46 Western Bypass (at its junction with Newark Road), creating a complete Lincoln ring road. The authorities see this as part of the solution to the city’s transportation challenges and the proposal is identified as a primary infrastructure intervention in the Lincoln Transport Strategy.

8.1.3 A Preferred Route has been identified, as indicated on the Policies Map, and delivery mechanisms and funding is starting to be secured.

Policy S46: Safeguarded Land for Future Key Infrastructure

Development proposals on or near to the preferred route of the North Hykeham Relief Road, as indicated on the Policies Map, which will prejudice the efficient and effective delivery of the project will be refused.

8.2 Accessibility and Transport

8.2.1 The NPPF sets out the importance of sustainability in relation to transport, in particular the need to ensure that developments that generate significant movements are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable travel can be maximised.

8.2.2 As a predominantly rural area, there is a heavy reliance on car use across large parts of Central Lincolnshire. This can have a significant impact on the elderly, children, young people and those without access to a private car who can become isolated and find it difficult to access health, social and educational facilities. In the larger urban areas, there are different transport issues with Lincoln, and to a lesser extent Gainsborough and Sleaford, experiencing congestion at peak times.

8.2.3 Across Lincolnshire as a whole there are no motorways and only approximately 40 miles of dual carriageway. The key roads in Central Lincolnshire, including the A15, A17, A46, A158, A159 and A631 are essential for connecting communities and important routes for businesses, including local agricultural and food industries that use the network to move goods and freight to, from and across Central Lincolnshire.

8.2.4 Within the Lincoln area, the bus network is relatively good with most services operating commercially, whilst fully accessible “Into Town” services operate in Gainsborough and Sleaford. Across the rural areas, “InterConnect” services run on the key inter-urban corridors (e.g. Lincoln – Gainsborough – Scunthorpe), with demand responsive “CallConnect” services providing pre-bookable, flexible feeder services to local centres and to onward connections to the larger urban centres. Although progress has been made in expanding the bus network in recent years, outside of Lincoln services typically remain very limited in the evenings and at weekends.

8.2.5 The Great Northern Great Eastern Rail (GNGE) line runs through Central Lincolnshire, with stations at: Gainsborough Lea Road, Saxilby, Lincoln, Metheringham, Ruskington and Sleaford. Lincoln and Sleaford are the principal rail hubs, providing connections to the East Coast Main Line and destinations beyond. The GNGE line has recently been upgraded to provide increased freight capacity in order to take freight traffic away from the East Coast Main Line. These improvements should also offer the opportunity for improved passenger services. There is also a number of direct services from Lincoln to London via the East Coast Main Line. East Midlands Railway (EMR) run from Leicester, Nottingham and other parts of the East Midlands via Lincoln to Grimsby with stations at: Swinderby, Hykeham, Lincoln and Market Rasen. EMR also provide wider connections to Grantham, Boston and Skegness in Lincolnshire. In addition, Northern Rail operate an hourly service between Lincoln and Sheffield which has been strengthened by the new Northern franchise. Investment in the parking and station facilities at North Hykeham station sought to encourage greater use of the rail service both into Lincoln and to Newark and Nottingham. Investment has also been made at Swinderby Station, with the construction of a new car park. However, the large number of level crossings in Central Lincolnshire has an impact on rail capacity as well as having an impact on other parts of the transport network with increased rail use, especially by freight services, increasing waiting times for road users and pedestrians. However, new footbridge provision over the railway in Lincoln city centre has eased the delays caused by the level crossing barrier downtime.

8.2.6 Central Lincolnshire’s navigable rivers and canals were originally built to transport goods around the country and although many are now largely used for recreation and leisure there continues to be a role for freight movement by water. The River Trent runs through the North Midlands to Newark and along the edge of Central Lincolnshire, through Gainsborough and on to the Humber and is identified as a major freight waterway which can take large barges of several hundred tons. In recent years the focus has been on the movement of aggregates, containers, waste and recycling but interest has been growing as fuel costs have risen and awareness of the environmental benefits of moving freight by water, such as relieving road congestion and reducing exhaust emissions, has increased. The Fossdyke and Witham navigations are broad waterways which run through Lincoln and connect with the Trent and the sea via Boston. Potential also exists to expand the existing use of towpaths and river banks as useful routes for cycle and footpaths enhancing connectivity and providing a recreational resource.

8.2.7 The Local Transport Plan (LTP) sets out the overall strategy and delivery arrangements for transport across the whole of Lincolnshire, including supporting growth, tackling congestion, improving accessibility, creating safer roads and supporting the larger settlements. The LTP reflects the objectives of the latest Local Plan, and vice-versa, with each updated version aiming to complement one another. The objectives contained within the current strategy support the development of a sustainable, efficient and safe transport system, increasing the use of sustainable travel modes, protecting the environment, and improving access to key services.

8.2.8 The 4th Lincolnshire Local Transport Plan (LTP4) covers the period 2013/14-2022/23. At the time of writing, this is in the process of being replaced by the 5th Local Transport Plan (LTP5). This LTP 5 is being produced under 6 key themes within which sit a number of objectives as follows:

Theme 1 – Supporting economic growth

  1. Improve connectivity throughout Lincolnshire and to the East Midlands, the rest of the UK and beyond.
  2. Ensure a resilient and reliable transport system for the movement of people, goods and services.
  3. Support the vitality and viability of our town centres and rural communities.
  4. Improve connectivity to jobs and employment opportunities.
  5. Provide a transport system that supports the priority sectors identified in the LIS.

Theme 2 – Future ready, green transport

  1. Support the introduction of low-carbon technologies and thus reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  2. Develop and support communities to flourish locally and thereby helping reduce the need to travel.
  3. Deliver sustainable development by ensuring that new developments are designed to reduce the need to travel, minimise car use and support the use of more sustainable modes.
  4. Ensure the transport network is made resilient to climate change.

Theme 3 – Promote thriving environments

  1. Develop opportunities to both protect and enhance the built and natural environment.
  2. Minimise waste and make the best the use of available resources.
  3. Provide sustainable access to Lincolnshire’s wonderful environment and heritage.

Theme 4 – Supporting safety, security and a healthy lifestyle

  1. Improve road safety.
  2. Increase confidence in a safer and more secure transport network.
  3. Reduce the impacts of air quality, noise and light pollution.
  4. Improve the health of our communities through the provision for active travel.

Theme 5 – Promoting high aspirations

  1. Improve connectivity and access to education, healthcare and leisure.
  2. Improve the accessibility of the transport system and in particular access onto public transport.
  3. Encourage wider community participation in developing and delivering transport services.

Theme 6 – Improve quality of life

  1. To deliver on the first five objectives above.
  2. To improve the quality of place and reduce the overall negative impacts of transport on people's lives.

8.2.9 These key themes and objectives are consistent with the objectives of the Local Plan and its policies.

8.2.10 Transport Strategies for Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford set out a range of local proposals to help tackle congestion and improve transport options in the main urban areas.

8.2.11 To demonstrate how accessibility, mobility and transport related matters have been considered and taken into account in the development of proposals, one or more of the following should be submitted with planning applications, with the precise need dependent on the scale and nature of development:

  • a design and access statement (all proposals); and/ or
  • a transport statement (typically required for developments of 50 - 80 dwellings); and/ or
  • a transport assessment and travel plan (typically required for developments over 80 dwellings).

8.2.12 Advice on the level of detail required should be confirmed through early discussion with the local planning or highway authority.

Policy S47: Accessibility and Transport

Development proposals which contribute towards an efficient and safe transport network that offers a range of transport choices for the movement of people and goods will be supported.

All developments should demonstrate, where appropriate, that they have had regard to the following criteria:

  1. Located where travel can be minimised and the use of sustainable transport modes maximised;
  2. Minimise additional travel demand through the use of measures such as travel planning, safe and convenient public transport, car clubs, walking and cycling links and integration with existing infrastructure;
  3. Making allowance for low and ultra-low emission vehicle refuelling infrastructure.

Delivering Transport Related Infrastructure

All development proposals should have regard to the IDP, and, where necessary contribute to the delivery of the following transport objectives, either directly where appropriate (such as the provision of infrastructure or through the contribution of land to enable a scheme to occur) or indirectly (such as through developer contributions as set out in Policy S45).

For Strategic Transport Infrastructure:

  1. Improve and manage the strategic highway infrastructure for a range of users and increased capacity where appropriate and viable;
  2. Improve and manage the wider road infrastructure to benefit local communities including through the use of traffic management and calming initiatives where appropriate on rural roads, and key transport links in the towns and villages;
  3. Deliver opportunities for improved road and rail interaction, and avoiding impacts upon level crossings;
  4. Improve, extend and manage the strategic cycling network for a range of users;
  5. Support the enhancement of existing or proposed transport interchanges;
  6. Improve and manage the strategic highway infrastructure, wider road infrastructure and public rights of way network to deliver biodiversity net gain, including improved connectivity and extent of green infrastructure guided by local nature recovery strategy; and
  7. Explore opportunities to utilise waterways for transport, particularly freight.

 

For Public and Community Transport Infrastructure and Services:

 

  1. Assist in the implementation of infrastructure which will help all communities in Central Lincolnshire, including people living in villages and small settlements, to have opportunities to travel without a car for essential journeys;
  2. Improve the integration, efficiency, accessibility, safety, convenience and comfort of public transport stations, including both rail and buses;
  3. Deliver flexible transport services that combine public and community transport, ensuring that locally based approaches are delivered to meet the needs of communities;
  4. Assist in bringing forward one or more mobility hubs in the Lincoln area.

Any development that has severe transport implications will not be granted planning permission unless deliverable mitigation measures have been identified, and arrangements secured for their implementation, which will make the development acceptable in transport terms.

8.3 Walking and Cycling

8.3.1 Walking and cycling can have wide ranging benefits, from reducing congestion and pollution from exhaust emissions, to contributing to the improved health and physical fitness of the population. Walking and cycling can also play an important role in multi-modal journeys in combination with other sustainable travel modes, such as bus and rail services.

8.3.2 Improvements in the bus network continue to be made in the Lincoln area and bus operators were closely involved in the delivery of the Lincoln Transport Hub which now offers a significantly enhanced experience for users. The changes to the St Marys Street area of Lincoln City Centre as a part of the Transport Hub works have made a significant improvement to the pedestrian environment for those arriving by bus or rail, making multi modal journeys into the city centre more attractive.number of other sustainable travel initiatives have, and are, being delivered by Central Lincolnshire partners. Significant work was undertaken, through the Access LN6 project, to improve sustainable transport options and achieve modal shift in the LN6 area of the Lincoln and North Hykeham. This work, encouraging walking, cycling and public transport use as well as car sharing has since been continued by Access Lincoln.

8.3.3 The Lincoln Eastern By-pass has been designed and constructed to include dedicated walking and cycling provision along and across its route, maintaining connectivity with the city for those communities to the east of the new road.

8.3.4 The 2020 Lincoln Transport Strategy (LTS) identifies that the number of walking trips made is in decline, with almost a quarter of adults indicating that they do not walk for any purpose at all. The LTS also states that the cycle network in Lincoln is not comprehensive and is disjointed within the city centre, with provision limited in rural areas. The LTS aims to put a focus on walking and cycling for short journeys. With an objective to rebalance movement towards walking and cycling and multi-occupancy, shared mobility and passenger transport. A further objective states that the LTS will seek to enhance the health and wellbeing of communities through improved air quality, increased physical activity and safety.

8.3.5 Both the Sleaford Transport Strategy (2014) and Gainsborough Transport Strategy (2010) also identify that cycle route networks are disjointed and poorly connected with each other. As with the LTS, both the Sleaford and Gainsborough Transport Strategies place a focus on walking and cycling for short journeys and the improvements to the network that are needed to make walking and cycling easier and more attractive options. The Gainsborough and Sleaford Transport Strategies are expected to be updated in the life of this Local Plan

8.3.6 The COVID-19 pandemic provided a number of opportunities for sustainable travel, in particular walking and cycling. Lockdowns, and the need to distance from one another, resulted in an increase in active sustainable travel among those unable to work from home and also a notable increase in walking and cycling for leisure. In particular, sales of bicycles throughout the lockdown period increased significantly as those still required to travel to work sought to avoid public transport, and others took to cycling for their daily allowed exercise. Through a bid to the Emergency Active Travel Fund, Lincolnshire County Council sought to build upon previously implemented active travel schemes. Schemes implemented with Emergency Active Travel funding have been located in Lincoln and Sleaford within Central Lincolnshire as well as other towns, in the wider county. The projects implemented have included the installation of temporary cycle lanes, road closures to vehicles, installation of additional cycle storage and new and widened pedestrian crossings.

8.3.7 The ability to travel using sustainable forms of transport must be integrated into the design of new developments and connectivity to and from the development and existing built up area should be a key component for the layout of development. Consideration must be given to the quality of the walking and cycling environments to ensure routes are safe, legible and attractive, connecting well into the existing public rights of way network and to facilities such as bus stops. Development layouts must be fully accessible and be designed to encourage walking and cycling by providing direct routes following future and existing desire lines. Proposals should take account of points of conflict with vehicular traffic, severance issues and the need for other pedestrian and cyclist accessibility improvements, providing end to end consideration of journeys for all users.

Policy S48: Walking and Cycling Infrastructure

Development proposals should facilitate active travel by incorporating measures suitable for the scheme from the design stage.  Plans and evidence accompanying applications will demonstrate how the ability to travel by foot or cycle will be actively encouraged by the delivery of well designed, safe and convenient access for all both into and through the site.  Priority should be given to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, people with impaired mobility and users of public transport by providing a network of high quality pedestrian and cycle routes and green corridors, linking to existing routes and public rights of way where opportunities exist, that give easy access and permeability to adjacent areas.

Proposals will:

  1. protect, maintain and improve existing infrastructure, including closing gaps or deficiencies in the network;
  2. provide high quality attractive routes that are safe, direct, legible and pleasant and are integrated into the wider network;
  3. ensure the provision of appropriate information, including signposting and way-finding to encourage the safe use of the network;
  4. encourage the use of supporting facilities, especially along principle cycle routes;
  5. make provision for secure cycle parking facilities in new developments and in areas with high visitor numbers across Central Lincolnshire; and
  6. consider the needs of all users through inclusive design.

8.4 Parking Standards

8.4.1 Central Lincolnshire, as a predominantly rural area, has a higher than average reliance on the private car. This means that residential development, in particular, faces pressure in respect of car parking and the impact on highway safety. An over-provision of car parking can lead to unattractive, car dominated environments that are unsafe for non-car users, whilst an under-provision can lead to unsuitable or unsafe on-street parking.

8.4.2 All development, not just residential development, should carefully assess its parking needs taking into account the accessibility of the development; the type, mix and use of development; the availability of and opportunities for public transport; local car ownership levels; the existing available car parking provision close to the development site and an overall need to reduce the use of high-emission vehicles, as stated in the NPPF.

8.4.3 All Development should consider user’s needs, impact on neighbouring users and the safe and efficient use of the highway network for all users including pedestrians, cyclists and those with limited mobility. Developers should consider imaginative solutions for car share facilities, powered two wheeler and cycle parking, and enabling domestic electric vehicle charging points. Unallocated cycle parking for residents should be secure and covered, located in easily accessible locations throughout the development. The Manual for Streets (2007) and Manual for Streets 2 (2010) provide guidance on the principles that should normally be followed. All development should justify the level of parking provided and the design of such parking.

8.4.4 The City of Lincoln Council intends to prepare a SPD to address the specific residential, and other, parking issues that arise with in the City area. This SPD provides additional detail in support of the policy and reflects the outcomes of the Lincoln Transport Strategy.

8.4.5 Where prepared, parking provision should be informed by the outcomes of the transport statement or transport assessment and the travel plan (where required). The rationale for the final parking scheme should then be set out in a parking statement or within the design and access statement. 

Policy S49: Parking Provision

Part A: Lincoln City Centre and Edge of Centre

Within 300m of Lincoln City Centre, as defined on the Policies Map, applications for residential development will be considered on a case by case basis, reflecting the varied nature of residential areas within the City. Considerations will take into account the proposal, its location, connectivity and parking issues in the surrounding area.

For all other types of development, proposals will be required to make use of existing public car parks before the provision of additional car parking spaces will be considered. The council will only allow additional on-site or off-site spaces if the applicant has provided a full justification for such a need (for example on the basis of essential operational requirements which cannot be met by the use of existing spaces off-site).

Within the area identified as the city centre on the Policies Map, all development proposals must demonstrate that careful consideration has been given to:

  • encouraging cyclists to access the city centre;
  • prioritising access for pedestrians;
  • improving accessibility for those with mobility issues;
  • reducing the need for vehicles to enter the city centre and particularly the city core policy area, with retail and other commercial development service vehicles being carefully controlled to minimise unnecessary disturbance to the public.

Further details are intended to be provided in a Lincoln City specific Parking Standards SPD.

Part B: All Other Locations

Parking Provision in Residential Development

Outside of areas covered by Part A, planning permission for new residential development will only be granted if the proposal makes appropriate and deliverable parking provision in accordance with the standards in Appendix 2.

For all other development, the number and nature of spaces provided, and their location and access, should have regard to surrounding conditions and cumulative impact and set out clear reasoning in a note submitted with the application (whether that be in a Design and Access Statement / Transport Statement / Transport Assessment and/ or Travel Plan as appropriate, depending on the nature and scale of development proposed).

Infrastructure relating to electric charging points should be included within garages and other appropriate locations in accordance with Policy NS18.

Wherever possible, parking provision should be provided ‘on plot’. Parking court style provision not associated with flatted development will only be acceptable in exceptional circumstances.

Proposals must ensure that appropriate vehicle, powered two wheeler, cycle parking and disabled parking provision is made for residents, visitors, employees, customers, deliveries and for people with impaired mobility.

Parking Provision Non-Residential Development

All other types of development should incorporate a level of car parking that is suitable for the proposed development taking into account its location, its size and its proposed use, including the expected number of employees, customers or visitors. 

Infrastructure relating to electric vehicle charging points should be provided in accordance with Policy NS18.

Other considerations

In areas where there is a made Neighbourhood Plan containing residential parking standards, these will take precedent over the standards contained in Appendix 2.

8.5 Community Facilities

8.5.1 Certain types of services and facilities help create supportive communities by meeting the day-to-day needs of residents and businesses. Known as ‘Community Facilities’ they are essential to the delivery of integrated, inclusive and sustainable development because they:

  • Make a positive contribution to social wellbeing;
  • Improve the ‘liveability’ of places;
  • Encourage community cohesion and social interaction;
  • Encourage healthy lifestyles;
  • Can provide employment opportunities.

8.5.2 There are many existing facilities embedded within our settlements that provide for the health and wellbeing, social, educational, spiritual, recreational, leisure and cultural needs of the community. Some of these serve a local community, while some serve a wider catchment area or serve a group or cluster of interdependent settlements. It is important to seek to preserve these existing community facilities. However, it is recognised that there may be instances where facilities become demonstrably no longer fit for purpose and it can be demonstrated that there is no longer an existing or future community need for the facility, either in situ or elsewhere. Where the policy refers to 'redevelopment' this also includes proposals for the demolition, change of use and other forms of development that would result in the loss of an existing community facility.

Policy S50: Community Facilities

All development proposals should recognise that community facilities such as, but not limited to, leisure facilities, libraries, public houses, places of worship and community halls, or any registered asset of community value, or a community facility identified in a neighbourhood plan, are an integral component in achieving and maintaining sustainable, well integrated and inclusive development.

Existing facilities

The redevelopment or expansion of an existing facility to enhance, extend or diversify the level of service provided will be supported.

In most instances, the loss of an existing community facility will not be supported.

The loss, via redevelopment, of an existing community facility to provide an alternative land use which is not that of a community facility will only be permitted if it is demonstrated that:

  1. The facility is demonstrably no longer fit for purpose and the site is not viable to be redeveloped for a new community facility; or
  2. The service provided by the facility is met by alternative provision that exists within reasonable proximity: what is deemed as reasonable proximity will depend on the nature of the facility and its associated catchment area; or
  3. The proposal includes the provision of a new community facility of similar nature and of a similar or greater size in a suitable on or offsite location.

New stand-alone facilities

Proposals for new community facilities will be supported in principle, and should:

  1. Prioritise and promote access by walking, cycling and public transport. Community facilities may have a local or wider catchment area: access should be considered proportionately relative to their purpose, scale and catchment area;
  2. Be accessible for all members of society;
  3. Be designed so that they are adaptable and can be easily altered to respond to future demands if necessary; and
  4. Where applicable, be operated without detriment to local residents: this especially applies to facilities which are open in the evening, such as leisure and recreation facilities.

New facilities as part of wider development proposals

Where new community facilities are deemed necessary as part of a wider development proposal (such as a residential development scheme which generates demand for new facilities), and acceptable within the guidance set out in Policy S45, then developers will be expected to provide such relevant facilities either directly on-site and/or off site, through a financial contribution, either alone or cumulatively with other developments.

Opportunities to incorporate community facilities within or adjacent to the development site should be sought in the first instance. Offsite provision may be acceptable as an alternative if:

  1. There is insufficient space available onsite/ adjacent to the site; or
  2. Incorporation of the facility onsite/ adjacent would not be financially viable; or
  3. It would be more appropriate to contribute (in whole or part) to the establishment or expansion of a facility elsewhere in order to meet wider demand or combine facilities.

Whether on or off-site, community facilities required as part of wider development proposals should, in addition to criteria (d) – (g) above:

 

  1. Be implemented, as appropriate, at an early stage of the phasing of development;
  2. Have a robust business plan and governance arrangements in place, prepared by the applicant, including any funding arrangement, to ensure the facility is financially sustainable in the longer term.

8.6 Open Space Standards in New Development

8.6.1 Accessible, good quality open spaces, sport and leisure facilities make a significant contribution to the quality of life of people living in Central Lincolnshire. Such provision includes allotments, amenity greenspaces, children’s play areas, parks, sports pitches and facilities and natural greenspaces.

8.6.2 Accessible public open space is vital to the physical and mental health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. However, these spaces have wider benefits. They can contribute to the perception of an area as an attractive place to live, work and visit and provide opportunities to broaden the area’s tourism offer. They can also support biodiversity, providing valuable habitat and links within the existing green infrastructure network, allowing wildlife to migrate and better adapt to our changing climate. Open spaces play a key role in regulating water quality and flood risk management[1], and are key elements to developing successful Sustainable Drainage systems. Planning for open space, sport and leisure is therefore a key part of the wider approach to green infrastructure set out in Policy S59 Green and Blue Infrastructure Network.

8.6.3 As the population of Central Lincolnshire continues to grow, new residential development will create additional demand and pressure on existing open spaces and facilities. Therefore, new residential developments will be required to include a level of new open space, sport and leisure provision to meet the development’s needs.

8.6.4 The Central Lincolnshire Authorities will apply the open space standards set out in Appendix 3 to secure adequate provision of open space and playing pitches with the capacity to meet the additional need and demand arising from new residential development. The standards relate to the quantity, quality and accessibility of each type of open space and have been informed by the Central Lincolnshire Open Space Audit and Assessment Update 2021. The Councils will apply the standards to proposals for residential development of 10 or more dwellings.

8.6.5 The Open Space Audit and Assessment identifies those areas within Central Lincolnshire deficient in different types of open space in terms of quantity and accessibility. It also highlighted those areas in Central Lincolnshire in the top 10% in the country for multiple deprivation which were also deficient in natural and semi-natural greenspace. These areas will be used by the Councils as a starting point for identifying where on-site open space provision should be prioritised.

8.6.6 The preference is always for on-site provision where possible. However, where on-site provision cannot be achieved or where it is considered that the creation and or improvement of off-site open space is more appropriate, a commuted sum may be accepted. In making this judgement, the Council will have regard to the overall size of the development proposal, location and whether the area has sufficient provision of good quality accessible open space.

8.6.7 Demand for sport and leisure facilities is expected to rise as the population of Central Lincolnshire increases. These facilities deliver physical activity opportunities which help to address key health issues, including the rising level of children and adults that are considered obese or overweight and the cases of heart related disease which is above the regional average. With an increasing population greater pressure will be placed on sport and leisure facilities in Central Lincolnshire.  An assessment of quantity of sports facilities undertaken for each of the Central Lincolnshire authorities highlights a need for additional sports facilities and playing pitches. The Central Lincolnshire authorities will be updating the Playing Pitch and Sports Strategy in partnership with Sport England to assist in the delivery of new and improved sports and playing pitch facilities across the area.

8.6.8 The process by which applicants can determine their open space, sport and leisure facility requirements is outlined in Appendix 3 and set out in greater detail in the Central Lincolnshire Developer Contributions SPD. The open space requirements for specific development proposals will be based on the application of the standards, taking into account current average household size, the type and size of dwellings proposed in the development and any particular needs identified in neighbourhood plans for the areas in which the development would take place.

1. Such as through Natural Flood Management schemes which can be used to hold back water from natural watercourses to reduce flooding downstream. [back]
Policy S51: Creation of New Open Space, Sports and Leisure Facilities

The Central Lincolnshire Authorities will seek to:

  1. reduce deficiency in publicly accessible open space, sports and leisure facilities;
  2. ensure new development provides an appropriate amount of new open space, sports and leisure facilities to meet need; and
  3. improve the quality of, and access to, existing open spaces, sports and leisure facilities.

Part A New Open Space

In all new residential developments of 10 dwellings or more, development proposals will be required to provide new or enhanced publicly accessible open space, sports and leisure facilities to meet the needs of their occupiers in accordance with this policy, the standards set out in Appendix 3, and in compliance with the latest Central Lincolnshire Developer Contributions SPD (or similar subsequent document).

On-site Provision

The preference is for on-site provision in a suitable location where this is practicable and would be the most effective way of meeting the needs generated by the development.

The precise type of on-site provision that is required will depend on the nature and location of the proposal and the quantity and type of open space needed in the local area. This should ideally be the subject of discussion and negotiation with the Council at the pre-application stage and where relevant with the input of the parish council.

In accordance with part 6 of Policy S53, new open space, sports and leisure provision created on-site as part of the development should:

  1. be of an appropriate size and quality in accordance with the standards in Appendix 3;
  2. be designed to be safe and accessible to all potential users;
  3. be designed to maximise green infrastructure benefits and functions, and in particular, take opportunities to link into the wider green and blue infrastructure network and deliver a biodiversity net gain (see Policy S59 and S61);
  4. consider the context of any existing provision and maximise any opportunities for improvement within the wider area where these are relevant to the development of the site;
  5. have a clear funding strategy and appropriate mechanisms secured which will ensure the future satisfactory maintenance and management of the site.

 

Off-Site Provision                           

In certain circumstances, as directed by Appendix 3, the criteria set out in the Central Lincolnshire Developer Contributions SPD and subject to legislation, it may be acceptable for a developer to make a financial or in-kind contribution towards open space provision off-site. Such proposals, which should ideally be agreed at pre-application stage, will only be considered if:

  1. the provision of open space on-site is not feasible or suitable due to the nature of the proposed development, by virtue of its size and/or other site specific constraints; and/or
  2. the open space needs of the proposed residential development can be met more appropriately by providing either new or enhanced provision off-site.

 

Part B Playing Pitches

To secure the level of playing pitch provision and associated changing room facilities required to meet the scale of additional demand generated from development when considered against the criteria within Appendix 3, contributions sought will be based on an assessment of existing facilities, including the distance to these facilities and their remaining capacity.

The scale of development, informed by Table A3.2 in Appendix 3, and the site specific context will inform whether provision should be based on site or would be more appropriate to deliver through contributions to improvements existing sites or other sites elsewhere. 

8.7 Universities and Colleges

8.7.1 The important role that the universities and colleges in Lincoln play in the local economy and in raising skills levels is acknowledged and supported. The higher education student population contributes to the social vibrancy of the City and to the local economy. The role and further development of the University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University and Lincoln College are pivotal. Already an important driver of the local economy, it is important that their growth is supported and appropriately managed in order that they can fulfil their full potential and thereby help the City to grow and prosper.

Policy S52: Universities and Colleges

In principle, development proposals will be supported where they support the ongoing development of higher and further education establishments in Lincoln, provided that these are well integrated with and contribute positively to their surroundings.

University / College related development proposals will be supported in principle if the development would facilitate their continued growth and assist in maximising the economic benefits the Universities / Colleges bring to Central Lincolnshire. Support will be given to deliver more efficient and flexible academic buildings and high-quality urban design on the existing Brayford Pool Campus in accordance with Lincoln University’s adopted masterplan.

In respect of the University Campus at Riseholme, as identified on the Policies Map, proposals for education, teaching and research buildings and other associated uses will be supported in principle (subject to wider planning policies, including detailed policy requirements for the Campus in any Made Neighbourhood Plan for Riseholme).