Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Settlement Hierarchy and Allocations

When the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (CLLP) was adopted in 2017, it classified all settlements within its area (Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey) into a hierarchy.

  • Local Plan

The hierarchy has been used to concentrate growth on the main urban areas of Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford, and in settlements that support their roles, with remaining growth being delivered elsewhere in Central Lincolnshire to support the function of other sustainable settlements and to help meet local needs. The approach taken by Central Lincolnshire aims to make the most of existing services and facilities, delivering growth to where it is most needed. It also provides opportunities to regenerate urban areas, provide new jobs and new homes in accessible locations, and focus infrastructure improvements where they will have the greatest effect.

Policy LP2 of the CLLP sets out the settlement hierarchy and advises on the parameters of growth within each settlement category. The hierarchy is as follows:

  • Lincoln Urban Area
  • Main Towns
  • Market Towns
  • Large Villages
  • Medium Villages
  • Small Villages
  • Hamlets
  • Countryside

The policy states most of the growth will be concentrated within the top four categories of the hierarchy (Lincoln Urban Area, Main Towns, Market Towns and Large Villages). The growth will be via allocated sites already identified in the Local Plan but additional growth will be looked at favourably on non-allocated sites within the developed area of the settlements or in “appropriate locations”* out of, but immediately adjacent to, the developed footprint. This means that although somebody who has a potentially suitable site for development in the top four settlement categories but their site is not allocated, it could still have potential for development.  

Policy LP2 does not allocate any sites within categories 5 to 8 but allows for limited growth within categories 5 (Medium Villages) and 6 (Small Villages) in order to support their function and/or sustainability. Policy LP4 (Growth in Villages) states the growth level for each village and their growth is either 10% or 15%, depending on whether there are any material factors restricting their growth, such as flood risk or a protected landscape (e.g Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The policy states that typically, development proposals in Medium Villages on sites of up to 9 dwellings will be considered favourably and in Small Villages, proposals will be considered on their merits but would be limited to around 4 dwellings. Any suitable sites in both settlement categories must be located in an appropriate location*.

Since the adoption of the CLLP in 2017, the growth allocations in many of the allocated sites in the highest categories have obtained permission and have or in the process of being built. Many of the growth allocations afforded to Small and Medium Villages have also been met. However, there are some allocated sites in the highest categories where no permissions have been granted and many of the Small and Medium Villages still have not met their allocations and, in some cases still have a considerable amount remaining. As part of the ongoing review, the CLLP could be potentially changing and allocating new sites in the highest categories, re-categorising some of the Large, Medium and Small Villages and providing new allocations or reducing existing growth allocations in Small and Medium Villages.

Therefore, many sites which do not have potential now could in the future, depending on whether the review allocates new sites in the highest settlement categories or increase/provide new growth allocations to Small and Medium Villages. However, there are still many Small and Medium Villages which have not yet met their growth allocation and their growth allocation could be reduced in the CLLP’s review of the current Local Plan. A list of these villages can be found here and there is often many suitable sites within these villages, but if no action is taken now, the planning potential for these sites could be lost. 

If you have land or property in the locations identified on the list and you think it might be suitable for development, we would encourage you to get in touch with us to discuss the opportunity before changes to policy take place.

* The term “appropriate location” means a location which does not conflict, when taken as a whole, with national policy or policies in this Local Plan. In addition, to qualify as an appropriate location, the site, if developed, would retain the core shape and form of the settlement; not significantly harm the settlement’s character and appearance; and not significantly harm the character and appearance of the surrounding countryside or the rural setting of the settlement.

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