‘Locals first’ in Woodhall Spa could be discrimination

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It is one of the most desirable - and expensive - places to live in Lincolnshire.

However, plans to ensure local people are given preference when it comes to securing affordable new housing in Woodhall Spa could backfire.

A committee has spent months drawing up Woodhall’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) which will be a blueprint for future development in the sought-after village.

The plan has to be ratified by residents, East Lindsey District Council and a Government inspector.

Currently in draft form, it includes several recommendations including people with local connections should get priority when affordable new homes come onto the market.

It is a planning stipulation that an allocation of affordable homes is included in new developments.

However, NDP committee member and parish council chairman David Clarke says he had been informed the local clause could be classed as discrimination.

Speaking at a parish council meeting, he said: “You would think the local plan should help local people but that might not be the case.”

Coun Clarke said the committee was looking to re-phrase the clause.

He admitted there had been a few ‘hiccups’ finalising the NDP after an initial draft was sent to ELDC and returned with what he said were ‘severe and unexpected comments’.

He added the committee was still determined to include certain key recommendations including every new dwelling should have two allocated parking places.

Coun Clarke said: “Drawing up the plan has been very difficult. It is something I would never want to do again.”