An ambitious plan to boost the economies of Hemswell Cliff and other MOD sites was due to be approved by West Lindsey District Council last night.
Chief Executive Officer Manjeet Gill has written a report outlining the need for a Masterplan to guide the area’s future development and provide a marketing tool to promote the Cliff for development.
In a report for the Prosperous Communities Committee, Ms Gill said regenerating the district’s former MOD communities “is an identified priority for the council.”
“Engagement and research activities” involving council staff have taken place on these sites, including further consultation with key landowners and businesses at Hemswell, Newtoft and Brookenby. Meetings have also taken place with Lincolnshire County Council and with the Central Lincolnshire Authorities to also see how these communities can play a part in the growth and development of the area, which will be defined in planning policy terms by the new Local Plan.
“Evidence from our research has highlighted the potential for growth and development at Hemswell Cliff in particular,” said Ms Gill, citing its closeness to the A15 and the motorways allowing easy access to Lincoln and Humberside. The site already has growing businesses employing 550, but there is little room available to expand.
“Initial research suggests there is a potential need and demand for the expansion of the business park area to the west of the existing hangars, on the area of land which previously housed the airfield runway,” the CEO continued.
Furthermore, to help boost ‘sustainability’, extra housing would be considered to support a greater range of services, which would benefit the existing community.
Therefore, Ms Gill added, to “fully appraise and develop the concept of expansion” a Masterplan should be developed in conjunction with Lincolnshire County Council, to help support the local planning process and help leverage funds for infrastructure development and be used as a marketing tool for business growth.
WLDC plans to appoint consultants by mid-February, with the plan completed by summer 2015. Masterplans were not needed for the smaller Newtoft and Brookenby sites, but council staff will work on their development.
Hemswell councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan said the councils have “exciting” ambitions for Hemswell Cliff. Strategically, it is in a good position by the main A15 for easy access to Lincoln and Humberside. The Masterplan “may improve facilities and sustain them”, including the “excellent school” and “bring a few shops,” he said.