Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Nocton Hall - update

Latest news

Further to my blog of 1st March 2016, a document was presented to the Parish Council at the meeting last night. Click here to read (I'm not sure what the acronym 'BCC' refers to - perhaps that should read LCC for Lincolnshire County Council who administer Highways?).

Some extra information from the meeting was as follows:
  • Parish Councillors met NKDC a couple of weeks ago, but not a lot more was learnt
  • NKDC cannot say much as their meetings with Leda's representatives fall within the pre-planning regime and as such are 'Commercial in Confidence'
  • The Parish Council has seen a document that appears to indicate approximately 170 dwellings are being planned for the Nocton Hall and RAF Hospital site (definitely worth studying!)
  • Leda had offered to upgrade security on the site, but apart from some new fencing and relocation of fencing with new anti-tamper couplings, not much more has been achieved
  • The Parish Council has written to Nick Hardcastle for more information, but there has been no response to date
However, the matter of development on Nocton Hall cannot be separated from the drafting of the Neighbourhood Plan. This is a crucial document which will inform what the community would like on the site.

Neighbourhood planning

'Neighbourhood forums and parish councils can use new neighbourhood planning powers to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in a neighbourhood.'

Whilst a great deal of work has already been invested in the draft Neighbourhood Plan for Nocton and Potterhanworth, it is quite a way off being finalised. There has yet to be input from Steering Groups and Community Groups. The document still has to go to NKDC to see whether an Environmental Plan is required. It is also hoped a 'friendly' Planning Inspector will review the document and give feedback too, before the Neighbourhood Plan is even ready for the statutory six-week public consultation. However, our Parish Councillors should be commended for getting so far in such a short time. Many communities take much longer to formulate their Neighbourhood Plans.

As you can see this is not a quick process and there is still much to be completed... meanwhile Leda Properties will be advancing their plans ready for submitting a formal application to NKDC. In addition, Leda will be able to see the details of our local Neighbourhood Plan, as it is a public document, but unfortunately the same cannot be said for our Parish Council being able to see what Leda Properties are discussing with NKDC as part of the pre-planning process.

How a Neighbourhood Plan can help local communities

A useful background document is available to read here - see P5 for the crucial quote:

'Once a neighbourhood plan is in force following a successful referendum, it carries real legal weight. Decision makers are obliged to consider proposals for development in the neighbourhood against the neighbourhood plan.'

As such, I think Leda's representatives will be eager to get their development plans submitted to NKDC, prior to the formal adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan. In this way, they may have relative freedom from the democratic wishes of the community. That is not to say that Leda Properties will ignore local community opinions, it is just that this site will be expensive to develop, especially with the constraints of the Options Appraisal and I believe this will take precedence.

When asked if they have a target date for completion of the Neighbourhood Plan, Parish Councillors could not commit because of the many variables involved.

 It is therefore a race against time I feel.

Further reading

If you are interested in reading more, the dedicated link below brings together all the notes regarding Neighbourhood Planning from the site.

Report from newsnk - Spring 2016

'Gainsborough landlord Robert Puncheon has just over £2,000 to pay after waste from two properties he owned in Lincoln was fly-tipped at Nocton Hall.

He offered one of the houses to two brothers from Gainsborough on the condition they helped to clear the previous tenants' rubbish from both houses.

While it could not be proved who fly-tipped the waste, as he had control of it as owner of his properties he had a duty to ensure it was legally and properly disposed of. He pleaded guilty to both charges.'

Last year, North Kesteven District Council responded to almost 1,000 incidents of reported fly-tipping, spending nearly £75,000 on its investigation and removal. If you see any, please report it at:

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