The public disagreement over the Local Plan between the two most prominent Conservatives in the District – WLDC leader Jeff Summers and MP Sir Edward Leigh must be very confusing to residents.
Jeff Summers is arguing that the present Joint Plan for Central Lincolnshire (West Lindsey, Lincoln and North Kesteven) should go forward while Sir Edward Leigh is pushing for West Lindsey District Council to produce its own plan.
Our MP clearly has no confidence in the current Joint Plan – but abandoning it would cause further substantial delay and surely all the money put in so far would have to be written off.
The protection of our local communities now depends on a series of 2006 policies that were ‘saved’ by Ministerial direction in 2009.
The 2006 West Lindsey local plan has been weakened as regional and county-level plans on which the local plan was founded have since been replaced and revoked, and the subsequent Regional Plan of 2009 has also been cancelled.
Developers can argue that these policies are now so out of date that they should be disregarded.
People living in towns and villages all over West Lindsey are now seeing the result of this planning ‘gap’ as planning permission is being sought for residential developments.
Is Cllr Summers right - or is Sir Edward Leigh? I want to see a positive plan for Market Rasen which fits into a clearly understandable framework for West Lindsey as a whole. Is employment and infrastructure (roads, rail, health, housing and leisure) going to be properly catered for? Will implementation be of benefit to all communities in the Rasen area? Perhaps Cllr Summers and Sir Edward should stop arguing and concentrate on working together with the people of West Lindsey to plan properly for our future.
Guy Grainger, Market Rasen