The highly-anticipated Horncastle Neighbourhood Development Plan (HNDP) has received approval from a Government inspector and will shortly be put before the town in a referendum on April 14.
We represent a group of individuals who have the knowledge and experience to bring the town’s attention to one flawed aspect of the HNDP, namely that it lacks any allocation of sites or zoning of land, relating to where development should and should not take place as the town expands.
The town has already lost any protection relating to the planned developments on Langton Hill, Mareham Road and possibly Crowders in Lincoln Road.
The HNDP is, in our professional opinion, premature as East Lindsey District Council’s own local plan remains incomplete and has no housing numbers identified.
While the group has no issues with the HNDP as written, its failure to identify sites and zones for expansion for all types of development will not protect the town from future large-scale developments relating to housing.
Conversely, the district council’s local plan, once complete, will include site allocation for the district, which seems contrary to the advice given to the HNDP working group.
We should be determining the way the town expands and not allowing the district council to dictate the options.
We are therefore asking for the following action points before the referendum.
An option should be added to give voters the option to defer the plan until East Lindsey’s local plan is published.
Secondly, the HNDP should be made to produce site allocations to mirror those proposed by the district council’s local plan but by consensus.
If this is not possible, then we would encourage everyone interested in the protection of the town’s expansion to vote no to allow the above option to be implemented.
This means that the plan is taken back to add the allocation of sites before it is presented to the town in its full state.
This situation needs a full and frank debate in a public meeting, which the working group and town council should call immediately.
Richard Barker, RIBA, and Andrew Neal