East Lindsey District Council is set to consider granting Horncastle Town Council the power to make some planning decisions in the town next month - which would make it only the second town council in the whole country to be granted these powers.
The recommendation is due to go before East Lindsey District Council at their next full Council meeting in July, and follows the recent adoption of Horncastle Neighbourhood Plan.
Should it be approved, Horncastle Town Council would be responsible for deciding all minor householder planning applications, all advertisements and change of use applications.
Horncastle Town Council would take on the powers on an initial trial of 18 months, with a review after 12 months. The agreement would then be extendable on an annual basis. All Town Council members and clerks involved in the planning process would receive full training, which would be provided yearly by ELDC.
The District Council hopes that, should the trial with Horncastle Town Council proceed and prove successful, that other town and parish councils could potentially be granted similar powers in the future.
Portfolio Holder for Planning, Councillor Tom Ashton, said: “I look forward to this decision going to Council and hope that they’ll support the agreement with the Town Council. It offers the Town Council to take the lead on local decision making, with the District Council still offering support.
“We believe this step would make Horncastle Town Council only the second town council in the country to take on such powers.
“However we hope, that if progressed, this model will provide a template that we could then look to move forward with other local councils in the future.
“Town and Parish Councils are the most locally representative level of local government; it is right that we look at ways to give them a greater say in decisions affecting their local area.”
Horncastle Town Council Chairman, Councillor Brian Burbidge, said: “We hope the District Council will support the agreement with the Town Council. We are looking forward to potentially taking on additional planning powers and making decisions at a local level.
“We’d be proud to be only the second Town Council nationally to do this, and would welcome working more closely with the Planning Officers at the District Council to help make the right decisions which will affect our town.”