How a Neighbourhood Plan will benefit Sleaford

A Neighbourhood Plan will give the people of Sleaford a greater say over how our town develops. A Neighbourhood Plan is a legally binding document that the District Council and the County Council must take notice of when anyone applies to build new houses, shops, schools, roads, or any other construction in Sleaford.

A Neighbourhood Plan sets out where the people of Sleaford want to see new developments take place. It also describes the style of new buildings that we want to see and the best of the old that we want to preserve.

The Plan will set out the mix of private and social housing we need, so that affordable homes are available. It will also describe the areas that we want to see protected from development such as our recreation areas and Local Nature Reserves.

A Neighbourhood Plan will give the community of Sleaford a way of guiding future growth of the town up to 2036. By having a Neighbourhood Plan, we will have a legally enforceable way of controlling and influencing some aspects of future development. If we do not have a Neighbourhood Plan, the District Council and the County Council will make all the decisions about how our town develops.

With a Neighbourhood Plan, we will also gain a greater share of Community Infrastructure Levy monies from new housing developments, which we can spend on more community projects such as parks and play areas.

But a Neighbourhood Plan must involve local people to be successful. So please help us to develop the Plan for Sleaford.

What Is Neighbourhood Planning?

Neighbourhood Planning is a right for communities introduced through the Localism Act 2011.

Neighbourhood Plans give communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years in ways that meet identified local need and make sense for local people. Local people are able to choose where they want new homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those new buildings should look like and what infrastructure should be provided.

Neighbourhood Planning provides the opportunity for communities to set out a positive vision for how they want their community to develop. They can put in place planning policies that will help deliver that vision or grant planning permission for the development they want to see.

To help deliver their vision communities that take a proactive approach by drawing up a Neighbourhood Plan and secure the consent of local people in a referendum, will benefit from 25 percent of the revenues from the Community Infrastructure Levy arising from the development that takes place in their area. You can find out more from the neighbourhood planning website.

Neighbourhood Plans

Neighbourhood Plans will become part of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (when completed in this area of Lincolnshire) and the policies contained within will be used in the determination of planning applications. It must be stressed that the policies produced cannot block development that is already part of the Local Plan. What they can do is shape where that development will go and what it will look like.

How does it work?

Local Parish or Town Councils will usually lead on Neighbourhood Planning in their areas. The Local Planning Authority is involved and will make decisions at key stages of the process, such as approving the neighbourhood area within which the Neighbourhood Development Plan will have effect. It will also organise the independent examination of the plan and the community referendum that is held at the end of the process. The referendum is an important part of the process, allowing those that live in the neighbourhood area to decide whether or not the Neighbourhood Plan comes into effect or not.

Who leads the Sleaford Neighbourhood Plan?

Although Sleaford Town Council is the qualifying body, a working group was formed to guide and lead the development of the plan and ensure involvement of the local community. The working group has now become a Sub-Committee of the Town Council's Planning Committee.

The Terms of Reference for the Sub-Committee can be found on the Town Council's website.

From the start, volunteers have been encouraged to get involved by joining a working party or helping in other ways, for example:

  • delivering leaflets
  • helping with the website
  • creating videos
  • taking pictures
  • join a working group that focuses on a particular topic that interests you

How the Plan is being Paid For?

Initially the projected costs were £15,000 to produce the Neighbourhood Plan. Consultants supported the Working Group with writing the plan and carrying out engagement activities. An initial grant from central government of £10,000 will cover most of the costs, with additional funding being built into the Town Council's annual budget. The work by AECOM has been funded by a separate government grant and subsequent successful grant applications are meeting the ongoing costs resulting from the delays due to Covid and in waiting for the adoption of the new Central Lincolnshire Local Plan, with which the SNP policies must comply. Once the Neighbourhood Plan is in place, Sleaford Town Council's share of the Community Infrastructure Levy (a charge on developers) will rise from 15% to 25% of the amount collected by the Planning Authority for developments in Sleaford, potentially amounting to many thousands of pounds each year, to be spent on infrastructure projects across the town.

Neighbourhood Plan Sub-Committee Members - October 2023 onwards

Supported by: Ms Nicola Marshall, Deputy Town Clerk, Sleaford Town Council to September 2022 and subsequently by Mrs Debbie Scott
Councillor David Darmon - Member for Navigation Ward on Sleaford Town Council

Councillor Linda Edwards-Shea – Member for Castle Ward on Sleaford Town Council (and also for North Kesteven District Council)
Councillor Ken Fernandes – Member for Holdingham Ward on Sleaford Town Council
Chairman – Councillor Robert Oates – Member for Holdingham Ward on Sleaford Town Council (and also for North Kesteven District Council)

Cllr Robert Oates is the Lincolnshire Independent member for Holdingham Ward on Sleaford Town Council and North Kesteven District Council. He is currently Chairman and Mayor of Sleaford Town Council, where one of his ambitions is to deliver the first ever Sleaford Neighbourhood Plan. Robert had a first career in government service in Whitehall and a second career with conservation charities where he retired as Executive Director.

Councillor Alison Snookes - Member for Westholme Ward on Sleaford Town Council
Councillor David Suiter – Member for Navigation Ward on Sleaford Town Council (and also for North Kesteven District Council)

Community Members
Mr Mark Bamford - representing the Heritage Sector, Sleaford Museum Trust and others

Mr Tony Dobson – representing the Cultural Sector

Mr Mark Graves - representing the Business Sector
Vice-Chairman - Mr Keith Maltby - representing Faith Groups
Mr David Marriage - representing the Heritage Sector
The Sub-Committee is grateful for the contribution made by Mr Anthony Henson before his untimely loss in January 2024

Design Guide

The Design Guide, which will sit alongside the Neighbourhood Plan, was developed for us by Aecom , agreed by Locality and adopted by Sleaford Town Council in February 2024. It can be viewed on the Town Council's website

Sleaford Neighbourhood Plan Sub-Committee Meetings

Terms of Reference

28th March 2024 - informal meeting

1st March 2024

9th February 2024

12th January 2024

8th December 2023

17th November 2023

6th October 2023

8th September 2023

4th August 2023

7th July 2023

The working group and the Sub-Committee also recognise the contributions made by former members listed below

Mr Nick Law – Executive Headteacher, The Robert Carre Trust, representing the education sector


Ms Clare Edwards – National Centre for Craft and Design, representative for creative sector
Ms Harriet Wells - representing Millstream Square businesses

Ms Kathy Blythe – representing the environment sector


STAGE 1 – Engaging with our Community

August 2020

Consultants appointed

September 2020 onwards

Community Engagement Activities

November 2020

Household and Business Questionnaires circulated

May 2021 

Consultation Analysis Report produced

September 2021 

Vision and objectives consultation

November 2021 

Vision and objectives report produced


STAGE 2– Developing the Evidence Base

Neighbourhood Profile produced

Green Infrastructure and Local Green Space Assessment Produced

STAGE 3– Producing the Neighbourhood Plan

Writing of draft plan underway summer/autumn 2023, for approval as a draft by Sleaford Town Council ready for the next phase of consultation before submission to NKDC

Draft plan submitted to local Planning Authority (NKDC).

Independent examination of the draft plan

Public referendum on the draft plan

The plan is adopted as part of the development planning process

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