Chapter Contents


2 North Lincolnshire: Facts & Figures

Our ambition is that North Lincolnshire is the best place for our residents and businesses. To achieve and sustain this ambition and outcomes we need to make sure we plan not only for the needs of existing communities but that we also ensure it remains a destination of choice, as well as an area that is cleaner, greener and safer.

The North Lincolnshire Local Plan (2017 to 2036) and the strategy for meeting our ambitions must be based on a good understanding of where North Lincolnshire is today and its characteristics. It should also consider the issues and challenges it faces as well as the opportunities it offers.

The information set out below is based on some of the early evidence gathered to support the Local Plan as well as statistical information provided by the council's Data Observatory. This online resource provides the local authority, partner agencies and communities across North Lincolnshire easy access to data on population, the economy, community safety, health and education.

Our Transformation So Far

The area is transforming and we want to continue to build on this success creating the best place for our residents. Amongst the transformational projects that are either completed or are under construction are:

  • The Able Marine Energy Park on the South Humber Gateway is a strategic site that can develop as an energy cluster.
  • The North Lincolnshire Shopping Park, which opened in October 2014, is a £23 million investment that created 300 jobs. The development is anchored by Marks and Spencer and Debenhams.
  • The Humber University Technical College (UTC) in Scunthorpe, which opened in 2015, is an £11 million investment that created 600 student places and 220 jobs. The UTC provides a specialist engineering education for students from Years 10 to 13.
  • The Maritime & Coastguard Agency's new Search & Rescue base operated by Bristow Group opened in 2015 at Humberside Airport. This £12m investment created 60 jobs.
  • The BAE Systems Training Academy at Humberside Airport is a £5 million investment creating around 60 apprentice opportunities each year resulting in 150 jobs. It is a first of its kind for North Lincolnshire.
  • The 4-star 103-room Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Humberside Airport is a £7m investment creating 100 jobs. It was developed in conjunction with the council supporting the project with a Regional Growth Fund grant. It opened in July 2017.
  • £96.9m investment by Highways England to upgrade the A160 to a dual carriageway along with improvements to the A160/A180 Brocklesby Interchange and at the entrance to the South Humber Bank ports. This is a central element hub supporting development of one of our area's key economic opportunities and has recently been completed.
  • £9.6m Northern Lincolnshire Superfast Broadband - 96% of Northern Lincolnshire has access to superfast broadband speeds and by 2018 it is predicted that 99% of the area will have access.
  • Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP) - £60 million of Government funding has been used to rebuild and refurbish eight schools in North Lincolnshire including Baysgarth School in Barton, The Vale Academy in Brigg, Burton-Upon-Stather Primary School, Crosby Primary School, Oasis Academy Henderson Avenue in Scunthorpe, Brumby Junior School, and Ashby's Grange Lane Primary School (replacing Grange Lane Infant and Grange Lane Junior Schools).
  • £13.5 million is to be invested in a number of our schools to maintain and improve buildings and facilities.
  • 15 miles of North Lincolnshire's coastline between the Humber Bridge at Barton upon Humber and South Killingholme will be part of the England Coastal Path. It is due to open in 2019.
  • £60 million will be invested in Scunthorpe town centre by 2022 as part of major programme to become a centre for business, learning and living.
  • £800,000 investment in new market in Ashby High Street, Scunthorpe (opened November 2017), and £4 million invested in the newly opened St John's Market in Scunthorpe town centre.

The new Local Plan is an opportunity to look afresh at what sort of place we want North Lincolnshire to be over the life of the Plan (the next 19 years).

North Lincolnshire – The Location

One of our main opportunities is the prime location of North Lincolnshire within the UK. Coupled with our high quality environment and attractive communities this makes North Lincolnshire a great place for our existing and new residents and businesses.

Located at the mid-point of the United Kingdom's east coast on the south bank of the Humber Estuary (equidistant between London and Edinburgh), North Lincolnshire covers 328 square miles (859 km2). This location is a national and international asset. We are one of the country's key trade gateways to and from Europe and the wider world and over 50 million people are within a four-hour drive. Residents and businesses can take advantage of our less congested road and rail networks, our faster commuting journeys, and easy access to UK and continental markets.

Figure 2.1: North Lincolnshire's Location

North Lincolnshire Location Map

North Lincolnshire is a predominately rural area made up of a number of historic market towns: Barton upon Humber; Brigg; Crowle; Epworth; Kirton in Lindsey; and Winterton. These are surrounded by many desirable larger and smaller villages and hamlets as well as an attractive countryside. At the centre of the area lies Scunthorpe our main focus for education, jobs, retail, services and industry.

Our neighbours are East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, Lincolnshire (West Lindsey), Nottinghamshire (Bassetlaw), North East Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire (Doncaster). We are members of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership [5] and Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership [6]. Their economic strategies are set out in the Humber Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and the Greater Lincolnshire SEP and both LEPs are developing Local Industrial Strategies. Their visions, ambitions and priorities such be reflected in Local Plans.

North Lincolnshire also falls within the area covered by the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine initiatives to rebalance the economy and drive growth in across northern and central England. The council is an active member of Transport for the North (TfN) (the country's first Sub-National Transport Body) [7], Rail North [8] and Midlands Connect [9]. TfN's Strategic Transport Plan for the North [10] sets out the case for strategic transport infrastructure investment through to 2050. It centres on transformational inter-city and pan-Northern connectivity improvements, ensuring that these are each in their own right drivers of economic growth in the North and the UK as a whole. This will also include improving pan-Northern access to the North's major ports and international airports.

Working with our neighbours and the bodies listed above is an essential requirement in developing and delivering our new Local Plan.

Key Challenge – Cross Boundary Working

To work with our neighbours and partners to deliver the Local Plan.

A Growing Population

Figure 2.2: North Lincolnshire's Population (1991 to 2016)

North Lincolnshire is home to 170,786 people [11] and our population is set to grow over the coming years. During the ten years between 2005 and 2015 it grew by over 8% and over the lifetime of the new Local Plan and beyond trends predict that our population will increase by around 6% to reach 178,537 in 2039 [12]. Our ambition is that our population will continue to grow, and different growth scenarios are considered later in the Plan. Whichever growth scenario is selected the Plan will need to ensure that the right level, choice, quality and type of housing, jobs, facilities and services (including infrastructure) is provided to sustain it.

Although our population is growing, trends show that its make-up is also changing. By far the biggest increase in population is projected to take place in people of pensionable age (65+), with a projected increase of 55.4%. Indeed, 28.9% of North Lincolnshire's population is projected to be aged 65 and over by 2039 [13]. Our future housing policy will, therefore need to reflect and meet the requirements and aspirations of the aging population as part of ensuring the creation of balanced, sustainable communities. For example, by providing appropriate housing that would allow them to continue to live in their local area or retirement living.

Figure 2.3: North Lincolnshire - Projected Population Growth

Figure 2.4: North Lincolnshire - Age Profile 2016

Figure 2.5: North Lincolnshire - Age Profile 2036

Trends show that the number of households in our area is expected to grow from 71,975 in 2014 to 80,485 in 2039. This represents a total growth of 8,510. However, their average size is set to decrease from 2.33 people in 2014 to 2.2 in 2039 [14]. Therefore, our future housing mix, density and design need to reflect this change.

Key Challenge – Population Changes

To meet the housing requirements of our growing, and increasingly older population.

Best Place for our residents

We have a range of housing spread across our towns and villages. Due to our attractive environment, good services, prosperous economy and lower living costs North Lincolnshire has become a desirable place for many people to live.

In 2016 there was a total 75,450 dwellings in North Lincolnshire. Of these, there is a greater proportion of owner occupation and lower levels of renting compared to national averages. 84.9% of this total was private dwellings (64,030) (owner occupied plus private rented tenures) compared to a national (England) average of 82.5%. The remaining 15.1% (11,410) was owned by housing associations or other public sector bodies [15].

The profile of the area's housing stock is very different to the wider region (Yorkshire & Humber). There are considerably more detached and semi-detached dwellings (75% in North Lincolnshire compared with 57% regionally) whereas the number of terraced houses and flats are substantially less (18% locally compared with 43% regionally) [16].

Average house prices remain low compared to the national and regional average: £136,440 compared to £155,385 in the region and £242,176 nationally [17], and there are 'hotspots' in the local housing market with affordability issues particularly in our rural areas. These factors together put the area at significant advantage to our neighbours and provide an opportunity for growth that our Local Plan must grasp.

Key Challenge – Housing Provision

Providing a sufficient supply of housing land and quality houses supported by infrastructure provision, in the right locations in North Lincolnshire to support economic growth, including meeting the needs for all our communities.

Housing plays a fundamental role in supporting the health and wellbeing of its residents and it is vital to ensure more housing choice is available to support the needs of our communities. Over the last 10 years a total of 3,542 new dwellings have been delivered in North Lincolnshire with a net additional average of 354 homes per annum. The spatial distribution of housing supply in recent years has been concentrated in the Scunthorpe and Bottesford Urban Area and the market towns of Barton upon Humber, Brigg, Crowle, Kirton in Lindsey and Winterton.

The North Lincolnshire Local Housing Needs Assessment 2019 has determined that North Lincolnshire can be described as a self-contained housing market area in that the majority of households seeking to move; look for another house within the authority area. We should therefore plan for the needs of our existing and future communities without needing to look outside of North Lincolnshire. Discussion with our neighbouring authorities indicates there is no current requirement to take account of their housing needs.

A Prosperous Economy

North Lincolnshire's economy is prosperous and has an ever-developing diversity. It supports 70,000 jobs [18] and is home to over 6,600 businesses [19] including major companies such as Able UK, British Steel, BAE Systems, C. Spencer, Clugston Group, Eastern Airways, Nisa Today, Phillips 66, Singleton Birch, and Total. We are a recognised leader in advanced engineering; chemicals and petro-chemicals; food and drink; metals; and ports, freight and logistics, whilst the tourism sector is also growing. We sit in the heart of a several economic corridors that offers opportunities for growth.

Figure 2.6: Economic Corridors

Economic Corridors

As part of expanding our economy we are looking to support new and emerging sectors. For example, North Lincolnshire's unique offer means that it is well placed to support growth in the automotive sector within the area. We benefit from having a supply chain and the resources to enable the development of new software/hardware for this sector. Scunthorpe is home to a number of suppliers that offer bespoke and specialised products to the sector and who have the ability to develop new technologies through their Research and Development functions. The development of the University Centre will allow focus to be placed on further developing this sector. In addition we are home to one of Europe's leading steel manufacturers in British Steel who produced around 3 million tonnes of quality steel, a significant amount on which is used in the automotive sector.

Another of our key sectors for growth is food. This will help to increase our brand image through the supply of high quality food products. Greater Lincolnshire region grows 12% of the England's total food and is home to an even greater proportion of the country's food processing industry. Our advantageous location, easy access to the motorway and rail networks and proximity to the UK's busiest port makes it ideal to support the growth of this sector. A specific Perishable Hub for the food industry is available at Humberside Airport. We also offer logistical support and a mature supply chain for the sector. We have a number of national and international haulage firms in the area that designed to meet the sectors' needs. Our supply chain ranges from bespoke training providers, recruitment specialists and packaging specialists to appropriate storage facilities.

The South Humber Gateway is a major strategic national, local and regional employment site and together with existing port operations is one the UK's major trade gateways to the north of England, the Midlands and beyond. It offers the largest undeveloped area of land next to a deep-water estuary in the UK and is at the centre of the developing off-shore renewables industry.

It is also home to over a quarter of the UK's petrochemical refining capacity provided by Lindsey Oil Refinery and Humber Refinery, operated by Total and Phillips 66 respectively. Much of this area includes the Able Marine Energy Park and Able Logistics Park and is part of the Humber Enterprise Zone (EZ), which is the country's largest. The EZ supports the growth of the ports, logistics and renewables sector and it is the region's ambition to become a leading national and international centre for the renewables sector. Access to this key location has been improved by £15.5m programme of gauge enhancement to South Humber main line between Doncaster, Immingham and Killingholme to accommodate larger freight trains. Humberside Airport is also included in the EZ.

Figure 2.7: Humber Enterprise Zone

Humber Enterprise Zones Map

In the Scunthorpe area, Normanby Enterprise Park is one of the area's major employment locations, being home to a wide range of businesses.

Key Challenge – Economic Development

Providing a sufficient supply of employment land, supported by infrastructure provision, in the right locations in North Lincolnshire to support economic growth, including meeting the requirement of our existing and emerging businesses and sectors.

Of our working age population (those aged 16 to 64) there are 79,500 people in employment in North Lincolnshire (71,100 employees and 8,500 self- employed). Our employment rate stands at 74.9%, which is higher than the regional rate of 73.4% but level with the national rate. The unemployment rate in North Lincolnshire stands at 6%, slightly above those regionally (5.3%) and nationally (5%). The levels of those claiming Job Seekers Allowance has fallen to 2,195 and we want to see this reduced further, whilst youth employment is now below 500.

Employment in North Lincolnshire's key sectors is mostly in line with national figures. Public administration, education and health employ 27% of the local workforce, followed by 24.8% employed in distribution, hotels and restaurants, which is higher than national and regional levels. The manufacturing industries sector remains a significant employer in the area representing 19.5% of those in employment, higher than both the regional (11.3%) and national (9.3%) figures. [20]

Key Challenge – Employment

To provide increased levels of employment within North Lincolnshire to support economic growth.

Scunthorpe town centre is our main retail and service destination. £60m of investment is planned to transform the town centre by 2022. The transformation projects aim to increase the number of people and businesses in the town, in particular in the Church Square area. The investment will create more than 200 jobs, around 1,500 student places, and will pump £1.5m into the local economy. These projects include:

  • £5.8m headquarters building for Ongo Homes - 50 construction jobs and space for 250 employees;
  • £5.7m Church Square House extension - space for 600 council workers and 45 construction jobs;
  • £3.9m private sector investment to provide up to 60 one-bed and two-bed homes on Lindum Street;
  • £14.7m new 200-unit facility for NHS employees (including five commercial units below);
  • £4m relocation of Scunthorpe Market into St John's Market;
  • £1m library refurbishment; and
  • £4m improvements to make the town look more attractive and road and pedestrian improvements to create better access.

Our distinct and diverse market town centres like Barton upon Humber, Brigg, Crowle, Epworth, Kirton in Lindsey and Winterton are key service centres for the local communities and their surrounding towns and villages. All are characterised by their historic centres and have a good range of shops, services and facilities along with thriving evening economies. Barton upon Humber is home to the Humber Bridge, the Water's Edge Visitor Centre & County Park and its historic churches whilst Brigg is well known for its markets and fairs that attract visitors to our area. Epworth is well known for its connections with Methodism, and Crowle has undergone a programme of regeneration based around its historic market square.

In Scunthorpe, the district centres of Ashby High Street and Frodingham Road also provide a wide range of services and facilities for their own areas and surrounding communities. One of our main challenges is to ensure the continued vitality and viability of our town centres, particularly Scunthorpe town centre, in a world where such areas are moving away from their traditional role towards a more multi-functional role.

Key Challenge – Town Centres

To protect and improve the vitality and viability of our town and district centres, in particular Scunthorpe town centre, in the light of changing shopping, leisure and working patterns, to ensure they remain key hubs for our communities and are more competitive against centres in neighbouring areas.

Tourism in North Lincolnshire contributes over £167 million to the local economy and employs over 2,276 people [21]. There are currently 2,267 serviced bed spaces and over 40 visitor attractions. We enjoy a drier, sunnier climate than much of the UK due to our sheltered position in the East of England, making it ideal for enjoying outdoor activities and events. Day visits are the main income for tourism sector businesses. It is a sector that is growing and we have clear ambitions for further growth to make North Lincolnshire a destination of choice.

The area's natural landscapes is a major asset. Due to our large rural areas, North Lincolnshire has been able to build its nature tourism offer through investment in projects such as the Ancholme Way, Alkborough Flats, Crowle Moors, Waters' Edge Visitor Centre & Country Park and the Isle of Axholme Historic Landscape Partnership. Coupled with our arts, heritage, leisure, culture and outdoor sports offer it provides a strong selling point and a vital link to the regeneration and economic growth of the area.

Key Challenge – Visitor Economy

To maximise our current assets and develop new and existing offers to attract visitors to the area, alongside investment in infrastructure and ensuring we protect and enhance those assets that make North Lincolnshire an attractive place to visit.

Education & Skills

There are 77 schools in North Lincolnshire (13 secondary; 4 junior; 5 infant; 53 primary and 2 special schools). Thirty-six of the primary and infant schools have nursery provision, whilst three of the secondary schools have a sixth-form offering a wide range of post-16 courses and quality provision.

Children have access to an excellent foundation to education in North Lincolnshire with the vast majority of early years' schools being judged to be 'good' or 'better' by Ofsted, and 100% of non-domestic childcare rated as 'good' or 'outstanding' at December 2016. A large majority of North Lincolnshire's Early Years Foundation Stage children (73.9%) achieved a good level of development in 2016, placing the local authority within the top 25% of all local authorities for the third consecutive year.

A very large majority of schools in North Lincolnshire were judged to be 'good' or 'better' by Ofsted at their most recent inspection (92% as at December 2016). Children's engagement with education is high, with the overall absence rate in North Lincolnshire falling to 4.3% in 2016, a result which places North Lincolnshire in the top 25% of all local authorities.

In 2016, Key Stage 4 [22] pupils made better progress than their national counterparts with the Progress 8 [23] score ranked 1st out of 11 statistical neighbours. The average achievement of pupils in up to 8 qualifications (Attainment 8 [24]) was higher than the national outcome and showed an increase of 3% on the previous year's result. The pace of improvement has been impressive and the council's shared ambition of attaining top quartile education outcomes for children and young people in all measures by 2020 is realistic and achievable.

Two Further Education colleges (John Leggott College and North Lindsey College) and a University Technical College (UTC) (Engineering UTC Northern Lincolnshire) can be found in Scunthorpe. John Leggott College and North Lindsey College provide 15,000 full time and part time students with a range of degree level and further education courses. 1,100 students are enrolled at North Lindsey College's University Centre on a number of higher education programmes. The centres' partners are the Universities of Huddersfield, Hull, Lincoln as well as Bishop Grosseteste and Sheffield Hallam Universities.

Scunthorpe's Civic Centre is set to become a new university campus for a scheme, which aims to deliver 1,500 university level places within Scunthorpe. This is in partnership with North Lindsey College and the University of Lincoln.

Key Challenge – Education & Skills

To protect, improve and increase the provision of education and skills infrastructure in North Lincolnshire, taking into account changing demographics, and growth patterns.

Health and Wellbeing

The health and wellbeing of our residents varies across the area and is influenced by a wide range of factors including lifestyle as well as social, environmental and economic conditions. People in North Lincolnshire are living longer than ever before. However, there are still health inequalities in the area.

Although life expectancy has improved year on year in the area in line with national trends, there is still a 4-year gap between the life expectancy of men and women. Overall, people born in North Lincolnshire can expect to live 78.7 years (males) and 82.5 years (females). However, life expectancy for people living in our most deprived areas is still lower than for those living in the least deprived. Similarly, they are more likely to experience the greater burden of poor health in older age than those living in the least disadvantaged areas.

This provides both a key challenge and an opportunity for the Local Plan by ensuring that alongside homes, jobs and transport infrastructure all local people have ready access to those services and facilities they need for their everyday lives which will enable them to have healthier lives. This will, in turn, contribute positively to community health and wellbeing. Raising the quality of place will also have a key role to play.

North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is the NHS organisation responsible for designing, developing and buying local health services in the North Lincolnshire area. Responsibility for many public health functions has now passed to North Lincolnshire Council which now has a statutory duty to take steps to improve the health and well-being of residents of the area. Both the CCG and the council's Public Health function will be key partners in developing the Local Plan. This includes commissioning services.

Healthcare provision in North Lincolnshire includes Scunthorpe General Hospital (which includes Accident & Emergency services) and other NHS healthcare providers. There are 19 GP surgeries, 17 dental practices, 32 pharmacies and 17 opticians in the area [25]).

Key Challenge – Health & Wellbeing

To improve the health outcomes for all of North Lincolnshire's people by reducing levels of deprivation and ensuring everyone has access to opportunities for employment, services and to live healthier lives.


Levels of deprivation in North Lincolnshire are diminishing. The most recent Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) [26] show that the number of our Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) [27] in the 10% most deprived areas in the country has reduced and the number of LSOAs in the least deprived areas has increased since 2010. North Lincolnshire is ranked as the 127th most deprived local authority area in England (of 326) [28] (compared to a ranking of 120th most deprived in 2010). Less than 9% of the area's LSOAs are in the 10% most deprived nationally, and the main pockets of deprivation in North Lincolnshire are concentrated in the Scunthorpe urban area. The main challenge and opportunity for the Local Plan is to continue this upward trend by ensuring that its policies and proposals seek to reduce deprivation levels and reduce inequalities.

Key Challenge – Deprivation

To reduce deprivation locally and enable communities to flourish.


North Lincolnshire is home to a wealth of high quality natural, built and historic environments that contribute to the quality of life enjoyed by local people and visitors as well as our sense of place. With over 80 miles of estuary and rivers the area is predominately rural with an attractive countryside, varied landscapes and wildlife habitats as well as high quality, distinctive townscapes. It is essential that these assets are protected and enhanced whilst ensuring that the economic and housing growth that is required is not stifled.

These wildlife habitats range from the world class, internationally important areas of the Humber Estuary and Crowle Moors, through to nationally, regionally and locally important wildlife and geological sites. These sites include five international designations (one Ramsar site, two Special Areas of Conservation and two Special Protection Areas), two National Nature Reserves (NNRs), 29 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's), 14 Local Nature Reserves (LNR's), 215 Local Wildlife Sites (LWS), and 37 Local Geological Sites (LGS).

Key Challenge – Natural Environment

Protect and enhance our protected biodiversity and geodiversity sites.

Figure 2.8 Our Environmental Assets

North Lincolnshire Location Map

North Lincolnshire is also characterised by a variety of landscapes ranging from the clay pits of the Humber Estuary, the rolling chalk escarpment of the Lincolnshire Wolds, the Ancholme Valley, the Lincoln Edge, the Trent Valley and the Isle of Axholme. North Lincolnshire is actively seeking the extension of the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) into the area to further protect our most valued landscapes. The southern Isle of Axholme has the most extensive surviving examples of a medieval landscape in England, notably the medieval open strip fields and Turbaries, both of which are of considerable national importance. Our landscapes, particularly the wetland areas, have potential for archaeological remains dating back to pre-historic times.

North Lincolnshire is also a place rich in heritage. We have 912 Listed Buildings (39 Grade I; 36 Grade II*; 837 Grade II), 17 Conservation Areas and 46 Scheduled Monuments. We also have a number of buildings which, whilst not listed on the national heritage list, are considered important buildings of townscape merit.

Key Challenge – Historic Environment

Protecting our historic environment and heritage assets for everyone to enjoy now and in the future.

The majority of North Lincolnshire is rural and, as such, has large areas of agricultural land. Most of this is classified as agricultural Grades 2 and 3 (very good and good to moderate quality). However, there are areas of the highest quality Grade 1 (excellent) land, which are found mainly in the valley of the River Trent as well as in parts of the Isle of Axholme and some areas of the Lincolnshire Wolds. [29]

Key Challenge – Agricultural/Rural Economy

Promote a prosperous rural economy through sustainable business growth, agricultural diversification and rural growth that respects the character of the countryside.

Significant parts of North Lincolnshire are at risk of flooding from a number of sources: the River Trent; River Ancholme; the Humber Estuary; and a variety of smaller rivers and drains. There is a need to balance the development required to sustain North Lincolnshire's economic growth and the constraints imposed by flood risk.

Key Challenge – Flood Risk & Development

To ensure that development is directed away from those locations which are most at risk from flooding.

Air quality within our area is generally good as highlighted in air quality monitoring data [30]. However, more challenging air quality issues are found in Scunthorpe associated with dust levels arising from local steel making and associated industries. The council is working with local industry via collaborative strategies to address this issue.

North Lincolnshire has declared one Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs): the Scunthorpe Town AQMA. Air quality monitoring data is regularly reviewed and assessed to determine whether these areas are required or whether their extent can be reduced. The most recent assessment of the monitoring data has shown that air quality in these areas has improved significantly. As a result, the Scunthorpe Town AQMA was reduced. This is subject to consultation with stakeholders and the public.

Key Challenge – Air Quality

To improve air quality in North Lincolnshire generated by heavy industry and traffic and ensure that development is directed away from areas with poor air quality.



One of North Lincolnshire's major strengths and opportunities is its high quality transport network and international connections. We have easy access to the UK's motorway and trunk road network. The M180, M181, A180 and A160 link the South Humber Gateway Ports and Scunthorpe as well as the rest of the area to the main north/south routes (the A1/M1) and trans-Pennine routes (the M62 via the M18). Many of the North's key centres like Doncaster, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, York and Liverpool are accessible within two hours, whilst the rest of the country is within around a 4 hours' drive. A £96.9 million major upgrade to improve access of the A160 between the A180 and the entrance to the ports has recently been completed by Highways England. This provides enhanced access for freight traffic and will support their growth and development.

The A15 is also an important transport corridor which is of strategic importance for both housing and employment growth. To the north it links North Lincolnshire with Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire, as well as providing an alternative route to York and the north east via the Humber Bridge. To the south, it provides an important route to Lincoln and the wider Lincolnshire area as well as an alternative link to the A1/M1 via the A46. This southern section has been identified as being in need of improvement. North Lincolnshire Council, and Lincolnshire County Council are engaging with the Midlands Connect Trans-Midland Trade Corridor Study to investigate options to create safer roads, improve transport connections and increase journey times.

Our rail network is essential for moving people and freight, and the area has 11 railway stations. Regular services link the area to Doncaster, Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Sheffield, and Manchester (including Manchester Airport) as well as Lincoln and Newark. London is 2½ hours by train (via Doncaster). A local service links Barton upon Humber with Grimsby, whilst there is also a limited service between Sheffield and Cleethorpes via Kirton in Lindsey, Brigg and Barnetby.

About a quarter of the country's rail freight passes through the area's rail network. Around £15.5 million has been invested by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership, Network Rail and the council on the completion of gauge enhancements that are allowing larger freight containers to travel on the rail network between the South Humber Gateways ports, Scunthorpe and Doncaster.

The council will continue to work with our partners like Transport for the North, Network Rail and train operators to improve the rail network in our area.

Key Challenge – Strategic Transport

Ensuring that our strategic transport network is improved to support our ambitions for growth and safer roads and to further develop our regional and national connectivity, working with our partners.

Figure 2.9: Our Transport Connections

Transport Connections Map

Most of our bus services operate to and from Scunthorpe Bus Station. The existing bus network is split into urban services operating within the Scunthorpe urban area [31] and rural or inter-urban services that operate across North Lincolnshire [32], linking the more rural settlements in the area as well as places outside the authority with urban locations. We also have the unique Call Connect service. It operates with no fixed timetable or routes, but instead responds to passenger requests made on line or by phone. It is designed to improve transport opportunities in rural communities and some market towns where there is an infrequent conventional bus service.

The Sustrans Route 1 and 169, which are part of the National Cycle Network, pass through North Lincolnshire. Route 1 runs north to south through the area from the Humber Bridge to the boundary with Lincolnshire near Barnetby le Wold, whilst Route 169 'The Ridgeway' runs east to west along the ridge of Scunthorpe towards Normanby. We have also developed a network of 13 rural routes ranging from six miles to 50 miles in length specifically for recreational cyclists.

North Lincolnshire boasts approximately 320 miles of public rights of way that give walkers, horse riders, cyclists and off-road motorist's access into the local countryside. Two long distance paths also pass through our area. The Nev Cole Way starts in North Lincolnshire at Burton upon Stather and travels eastwards along the south bank of the Humber before leaving the area at North Killingholme. The Viking Way enters North Lincolnshire at Barton upon Humber after crossing the Humber Bridge and runs southwards across the area before heading towards the city of Lincoln and its final destination at Oakham in Rutland.

Key Challenge – Local Transport

Increasing opportunities for the use of sustainable modes of transport including public transport, cycling and walking, to access employment, services and for leisure and recreation, whilst reducing the need to use the private car.

International Links

North Lincolnshire has excellent international links. We are located at the eastern end of the main Trans Pennine corridor for freight and logistics between the Mersey and the Humber and into Europe. The South Humber Gateway Ports (Grimsby, Immingham & Killingholme) are the busiest in the country by tonnage (59 million tonnes in 2015 [33]). We also have four thriving inland ports (Flixborough Wharf; Grove Port; Gunness; and Keadby) on the River Trent that give ease of access to the European waterways and the open sea via the Humber Estuary.

There are two international airports in and around North Lincolnshire that provide air links to Europe and beyond - Humberside Airport and Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Humberside serves over 230,000 passenger a year and enjoys three daily direct flights to/from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport – one of the globe's major hub airports, which offers connections to over 800 destinations worldwide. It is also one of the largest heliports in the UK supporting the oil, gas and offshore wind sectors. It is the regional base for one of the UK's search and rescue helicopters. Regular freight ferries operate from the South Humber Gateway ports to destinations in mainland Europe whilst P&O Ferries operate daily overnight passenger services from the nearby Port of Hull to Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Zeebrugge (Belgium).

Key Challenge – International Connections

Supporting our international connections by ensuring that transport access to our ports and airport is improved and maintained, in order to support increased growth.

Digital Connectivity

North Lincolnshire also has superfast broadband connectivity. 96% of Northern Lincolnshire has access to superfast broadband speeds following the upgrade of 35,000 premises. This investment is ongoing and with a target of having 98.5% of the area covered by fibre broadband by the end of 2018. An open market review will establish what we still need to do to get full coverage. Government is seeking to further boost the country's digital infrastructure as part of their Industrial Strategy.

Key Challenge – Digital Connectivity

Increase coverage for Superfast Broadband connectivity within North Lincolnshire, and ensuring provision digital infrastructure and telecommunications to support businesses and residents, taking advantage of new 5G networks and smart technologies.


North Lincolnshire's geology ensures the presence of several different mineral resources in the area. These include sand and gravel, limestone, chalk, silica sand, clay, ironstone and peat as well as hydrocarbon (oil and gas) deposits.

There are five quarries extracting either chalk or limestone and four extracting either sand and gravel, or silica sand. Ironstone extraction ceased some time ago, as has peat extraction. There is one operational oil well at Crosby Warren, to the north east of Scunthorpe. North Lincolnshire has a number of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs).

National policy clearly sets out the importance of safeguarding mineral resources to prevent their sterilisation from non-minerals development. It is also important that North Lincolnshire makes its contribution to national and regional mineral supply.

Key Challenge – Minerals

Ensure we meet the needs for aggregates and other minerals and protect existing resources from sterilisation, whilst managing the impacts of extraction on our landscape and communities.


National Planning Policy for Waste is focused on moving waste up the waste hierarchy to reduce the reliance of waste disposal and to promote waste as a resource. North Lincolnshire is well served by waste infrastructure and is net self-sufficient in the management of waste.

The area has significant waste management capacity which provides for the needs of North Lincolnshire and a number of authorities elsewhere. Several of North Lincolnshire's existing landfill sites are due to close in the mid/late 2020's, presenting a future challenge for the disposal of waste produced in the area as well as further afield.

Existing sites for the management of waste should be safeguarded and additional sites required for the management of North Lincolnshire's waste should be protected from the encroachment of non-waste uses, which could affect the future management of waste at these locations.

Key Challenge – Waste

To promote management of waste in line with the waste hierarchy and ensure the protection of existing sites from non-waste development.