Developers seeking to expand or create small touring caravan sites on the East Lindsey Coast will no longer have to pay a tariff to secure planning permission.
Instead applications now have to meet a sustainability appraisal to demonstrate the benefits the development will bring to the community and economy of the area.
The caravan tariff, introduced by the district council following legal advice in 2011, provided a way for developers to satisfy the exceptions test, allowing development in a flood risk area because of the additional benefit it brings to the community.
Since 2011 the use of the tariff has increased and until recently was being applied to all caravan site developments, both touring and static, that passed all normal planning considerations but might have failed the exceptions test. Money generated was for town and parish councils to use to make local improvements. The council decided to remove the tariff following a planning inspector’s view that such a development could bring benefit to the local economy without the developer needing to pay a tariff.
The new procedure will ask developers to provide an economic appraisal of the scheme, and also the benefits socially and environmentally to the community. The details will then be considered as part of the planning process.
Portfolio holder for planning Coun Craig Leyland said: “The tariff, which was generally supported by local people and developers, provided a mechanism to foster the tourism and leisure sector which is so important to East Lindsey and obtain financial assistance for those communities that would have additional strain put on their services by the granting of permission. Through the sustainability appraisal we hope to achieve an enhanced view of the impact of a development and where the economic, social and community benefits will arise and enable clear identification of any shortfalls. Economic development and continued investment is so important, particularly on the coast, and the council will continue to work with town and parish councils, developers and the community to maximise the opportunities for the area, whilst minimising the impact on local infrastructure.”