Council consults on recipe for Food Enterprise Zone

Food Enterprise Zone
Councillor Jeff Summers

West Lindsey District Council has begun consulting on the Central Lincolnshire Local Development Order and Food Enterprise Zone.

The council, which is the Local Planning Authority is proposing development order for an area of land at Hemswell Cliff, for the food and farming sector.

This is a key element of its Food Enterprise Zone initiative, and is intended to incentivise growth in that sector and attract businesses looking to relocate.

Cllr Jeff Summers, Leader of West Lindsey District Council said: “Our ambition is that the FEZ will attract new agri-food commercial activity and develop a sustainable residential village, promoting a highly attractive business environment.

“FEZ are a great way to attract investment and to encourage closer ties between food and farming businesses to boost the domestic food and farming sector. By putting an LDO in place it makes the planning process simpler and easier for food and farming businesses that want to expand, in line with local priorities.

“It will also provide certainty about the types of development which are permitted within a specific area, and reducing the potential risks associated with the formal planning process, encouraging development and investment to come forward in that area.

“We welcome comments on the plans from everyone, including the business sector.”

The Hemswell Cliff FEZ will become a Greater Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone with links to the Grimsby fishing industry and Holbeach fresh produce and food processing cluster.

Together the three zones will create a triangle of opportunities serving and growing the key agri-food clusters in the greater Lincolnshire area along the A15 growth corridor.

Leading food supply chain businesses such as Woldgrain Storage, ParkAcre and Plastipak Packaging are already located there.

The Hemswell Cliff FEZ would directly contribute to achieving the Greater Lincolnshire Agri-food Sector Plan vision of doubling the sector’s contribution to the economy by 2030, by:

  • supporting the growth of larger agri-food businesses
  • building on existing clusters of companies in the agri-food sector
  • ensuring that agri-food businesses have access to land and premises to meet their needs
  • improving access to innovation and applied research services and funding
  • developing and implementing a sector skills plan for the agri-food industry
  • promoting exports and inward investment in the agri-food sector

The LDO complements the masterplan vision for the regeneration of Hemswell Cliff to drive forward the social, economic and environmental regeneration of the wider settlement.

The consultation on the plans ends on Friday 14th April 2017. The development order and technical supporting information is at www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/HemswellCliffFEZ, where comments can also be left.