Planning policy - Why such a long wait?

Your paper’s front page article on Welton’s planning woes quotes a West Lindsey District Council spokesperson as saying that the Central Lincolnshire planning policy will not be finalised until 2016.

Since the government’s planning framework, upon which the local plan must be based, was published in March 2012, this suggests an extraordinarily long time in which to respond to a change in central guidance.

Preparation has already suffered a setback late in 2013 when an earlier version was rejected as not fit for purpose. The proposed completion date is now long after the next general election, giving rise to the possibility of further change to central policy and a return, once again, to the drawing board.

In the meantime, as residents of Welton and elsewhere in the county are finding, reliance on old planning policies and a broad national framework leaves a policy vacuum.

Developers well resourced in producing applications supported by multiple reports and statements (that sometimes seem aimed to persuade by shear weight of paper) can readily fill this.

Perhaps the Mail could prevail upon the district authority to give a more detailed explanation of why preparation of this important piece of local policy is taking so long and to reassure its deserving and tax paying residents that those involved are competent to complete the task.

Philip Raven