Chapter Contents


6 Delivering Jobs & Supporting Our Economy

Policy Map

Click below to view the policy map.

National policy and guidance requires Local Plans to proactively drive and support sustainable economic development to deliver jobs that the country needs. The new Local Plan must ensure that sufficient employment land of the right type is available in the right places and at the right time to support growth and innovation. It must also address other issues that are important to businesses such as affordable homes for workers, transport, and infrastructure, and will need to address how many new jobs need to be provided and how best can we support our existing and growing employment sectors. Barriers to investment should be addressed and priority areas identified for economic regeneration, infrastructure provision and environmental enhancement. Economic development is a critical component that drives growth, creating high wage jobs and facilitating an improved quality of life.

The Council places a key emphasis on driving economic vitality. It seeks to shape the area into a more prosperous place for residents and businesses alike and to be ‘safer, greener and cleaner’ by increasing economic growth and prosperity through higher employment and increased home ownership.

As part of previous consultations there was broad support for continuation of the existing strategic locational approach taken in the Core Strategy. In terms of identifying additional employment land, main transport corridors were highlighted as the preferred strategic locations for future growth outside of Scunthorpe and the market towns. In a North Lincolnshire context this would relate to land alongside or near to the M180/M181, A180, A160, A18, A15, the A1077 Scunthorpe orbital, the Cleethorpes to Doncaster railway line and Humberside Airport.

There was also support for a greater distribution of employment land to the villages and wider rural areas but at a scale commensurate to their localities. With the market towns having a greater proportion of employment land than currently allocated as they represent popular sustainable settlements which could accommodate greater growth. In general, there was support for continued economic growth across North Lincolnshire provided that the infrastructure was capable of sustaining growth, and if not then improvements would be essential.

The Council places great emphasis on economic growth and the benefits that a prosperous economy will bring about for the residents of North Lincolnshire. This is supported through the Council Plan, Economic Growth Plan and the Local Economic Assessment. The North Lincolnshire Council Plan 2018/2019 as a priority seeks to grow the economy. It aims to achieve a more prosperous North Lincolnshire, to help the Council to invest further in communities and to create jobs and opportunities for everyone.

The Economic Growth Plan focusses on the next five years and lays the foundations for continued growth from 2023 and beyond whilst setting out the ideas and support we need over this period that will put us in a strong place on which to build and develop. The plan, with the emerging Local Industrial Strategy, offers North Lincolnshire the opportunity to deliver its ambitions and realise it’s potential. Together we can deliver a substantial contribution to UK plc as well as rebalancing our region for generations to come.

It is important that North Lincolnshire builds on its strengths with the Economic Growth Plan focussing on both the energy corridor stretching from the coast to South Yorkshire, encompassing energy production and consumption, steel and process engineering, chemicals and associated logistics and the food sector and the Food belt corridor from York to Lincoln encompasses growing, logistics, processing and research and development. Central to both approaches is the recognised need to add value and increase productivity.

Employment by Industry

North Lincolnshire Yorkshire and The Humber England
Agriculture and Fishing 2.7% (2,200) 0.9% 0.9%
Energy and Water 2.3% (1,900) 1.4% 1.5%
Manufacturing 20.1% (16,300) 11.8% 9.2%
Construction 7.1% (5,800) 7.3% 7.3%
Distribution, Hotels and Restaurants 21.7% (17,600) 21.3% 18.6%
Transport and Communications 5.3% (4,300) 7.3% 9.4%
Banking, Finance and Insurance 10.1% (8,200) 13.5% 17.6%
Public Administration, Education and Health 25.5% (20,700) 30.7% 29.2%
Other Services 5% (4,100) 5.2% 5.9%
Source: Office for National Statistics (12 months to Sep-17)

The largest industry sector for employment in North Lincolnshire, employing 25.5% of employees (20,700) is the Public Administration, Education and Health sector. This sector is also the largest regionally and nationally at 30.7% and 29.2% respectively. It is not equivalent to the Public Sector as it does not include various publicly owned corporations and bodies but does include private sector health and education.

The Manufacturing sector is still a major employer in North Lincolnshire employing 16,300 of residents, a rate of 20.1%, outperforming the regional and national rates of 11.8% and 9.2%.

Key Facts

  • As of March 2018 in North Lincolnshire there are fewer economically active women (37,300) when compared to economically active men (44,300) (NOMIS Labour Market Profile).
  • In 2017, the number of Businesses ceasing trading (640) outstripped Business start-ups (610) in North Lincolnshire for the first time in 5 years.
  • A lower proportion of North Lincolnshire’s population (20.9%) is economically inactive in comparison to the national average (21.4%) (NOMIS Labour Market Profile, March 2018).
  • 21.7% of the population in North Lincolnshire is classed as retired compared to a national average of 13.0% (NOMIS Labour Market Profile, March 2018).
  • Latest figures show that the rate of claimants for unemployment benefits aged 18-24 has risen from 4.1% in October 2017 to 6.3% in October 2018, and is now double the national rate (3.1%) (NOMIS Claimant Count & Annual Population Survey) (North Lincolnshire Integrated Strategic Assessment January 2019).

Located on the south bank of the Humber Estuary, North Lincolnshire’s prime location places the area at a distinct advantage to access the European mainland and its main trading and commercial centres via the South Humber ports of Killingholme, Immingham and Grimsby, which collectively handle over a quarter of the United Kingdom’s imports and exports. North Lincolnshire also benefits from excellent transport links including access to the two international airports of Humberside Airport and the nearby Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, and well-developed motorway, road and rail networks connecting the area with the rest of the country and beyond.

Due to its location, North Lincolnshire is aligned with two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Humber and the Greater Lincolnshire. They are locally-owned partnerships between local authorities and businesses playing a central role in determining local economic priorities and undertaking activities to drive economic growth and the creation of local jobs. The Humber SEP sets out the Humber LEPs vision for the Humber area. The vision aims to maximise the unique natural asset of the Humber Estuary and create the establishment of the Estuary as a prime national base for the development and maintenance of the off shore wind industry and supporting the development of other renewable energy technologies around the Humber. The Greater Lincolnshire LEP works with Government to improve the economic climate across Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. Its aim is to improve infrastructure and the conditions for doing business. The Humber LEP is a business–led partnership with education and four local authorities working together to promote and develop the area surrounding the Humber Estuary, and provide strategic economic leadership to create jobs and deliver growth.

Key Challenges

It is considered that there are a number of key challenges that the Issues and Options Local Plan identified.

  • Ensuring that sufficient employment land is provided in accessible and sustainable locations;
  • Improving the quality of the employment land offer;
  • Bringing forward the two major Able UK developments at the South Humber Gateway;
  • Ensuring that new retail development enhances the overall retail provision whilst protecting the area’s town and district centres; and
  • Providing access to employment/key services, particularly for people without access to a car.
  • Promoting and enhancing North Lincolnshire’s tourism offer; and
  • Ensuring that local people have the right skills and experience to play a role in driving and transforming North Lincolnshire’s economy.

Identifying and Selecting Employment Land Options

Alongside and in conformity with the Plan’s Spatial Strategy priority has therefore been given to sites within and adjacent to Scunthorpe, the South Humber Bank and immediate area, the Market Towns of Brigg and Barton upon Humber, Humberside Airport, land at Sandtoft for a business park and sites at key transport interchanges.

North Lincolnshire is fast becoming a major energy capital in terms of energy generation which includes the emerging renewable energy and off-shore wind sectors. Land at the South Humber Bank is therefore allocated as a Strategic Employment Site for B1, B2, and B8 Estuary Related uses including energy generation to support these sectors. The development of North Killingholme Airfield is seen as an essential and integral part of the nearby South Humber Bank proposal and is, therefore, also identified as a Strategic Employment Site in order to assist in the deliverability of the South Humber Bank. North Killingholme Airfield is to be utilised, but not solely, for land intensive storage and distribution uses that would effectively sterilise prime industrial land set adjacent to the Humber Estuary.

The 55.3ha land allocation at Sandtoft is for a potential logistics park, which maximises its proximity to the M180 motorway, subject to satisfactory access arrangements being met. Allocations at Humberside Airport are proposed to help bolster airport operations and to maximise freight potential. Employment land has also been allocated at the Barton upon Humber Interchange to reinforce its roles as a key market town. Elsewhere a number of other employment allocations such at Barnetby Top and Junction 2 of the M180 have been identified that offer good accessibility to the local highway network.

Any proposed development likely to have a significant effect on a wildlife site of European or international importance will be subject to a Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) by the competent authority. North Lincolnshire Council, as the competent authority, reserve the right to apply the HRA process on a case by case basis. Where it cannot be demonstrated that a development proposal will not have an adverse effect on the integrity of a site of European or international importance to nature conservation, mitigation measures must be provided as part of development proposals that adequately mitigates the effects.

Policy EC1p: Employment Land Supply
  1. Over the period 2017 to 2036, provision will be made to deliver at least 91.5 hectares (Ha) of employment land across North Lincolnshire.
  2. The sites listed below, as identified on the Policies Map, are allocated for employment use* and are protected for the employment uses specified.
  3. Development on these sites will be acceptable for the specified use classes and will be required to be delivered in accordance with the specific requirements set out, together with the requirements of other policies set out elsewhere in this Plan.
  4. The council will consider withdrawing permitted development rights to protect the sites for the employment uses proposed.
  5. Within the operational port areas identified on the Policies Map development proposals for port related use will be supported and, where appropriate, approved by the Council if the submitted scheme accords with the development plan as a whole and subject to the ability to satisfy the requirements of the Habitats Regulations.(48)

Allocated Employment Sites

Location Site Reference Policy Name Use * Allocated site area ha
Scunthorpe EC1-1p Normanby Enterprise Park B1,B2, B8 38.87
Scunthorpe EC1-2p Land north of Tesco B1, B8 39.96
Kirmington EC1-3p Humberside Airport B1, B8 12
Kirmington EC1-4p Humberside Airport B1, B8 7.8
Sandtoft EC1-5p Sandtoft Business Park B1, B8 55.3
Barton upon Humber EC1-6p Land to the north west of the A15 Barton Interchange B1, B2, B8 15
Barnetby Top EC1-7p Land to the south of Barnetby Top Interchange and to the west of the A18 Service Station and lorry park 6.14
Barnetby Top EC1-8p Land to the south of Barnetby Top Interchange and to the east of the A18 B1, B2, B8 10
M180 Junction 2 EC1-9p Land to the south of Crowle gyratory B1, B8 5
Alternatives Considered

The Issues and Options Local Plan highlighted 4 main options for distribution of Employment Land across North Lincolnshire. Option A: - Retain all existing allocated employment sites as identified within the Housing and Employment Land Allocations DPD; Option B: Consider changing the allocation of any sites (by site reduction or de-allocation) currently allocated for employment and have not been developed; Option C: Allocate new sites for employment uses within North Lincolnshire and Option D: Allocate new sites for employment uses within North Lincolnshire alongside the area’s main transport corridors.

From the Issues and Options consultation’s responses it is clear that an approach was supported that sought to retain existing allocated sites and allocate new sites for employment uses within North Lincolnshire alongside the area’s main transport corridors. In accordance with this approach and a general understanding and discussions of development queries for employment land as made to the Economic Development Team the site specific allocations as stated in Policy EC1 have been made.

Support was expressed for retaining the current employment allocations in their current form. This includes the NPPF, PPG, and national objectives for the economy and environment. The existing Housing and Employment Land DPD’s policies have been well supported and partly implemented over the preceding years. However, sites which have not been brought forward have been re-assessed in terms of their prospective deliverability and in some cases have been de-allocated and/or retained within development limits.


Indicator Target
Amount of floorspace developed by type. Delivering at least 4.75 hectares of employment land within North Lincolnshire per annum and between 2017 and 2036.
Annual amount of employment land developed by type at the South Humber Bank. To deliver the South Humber Bank Strategic Allocation by 2036.
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC1p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC1p: Employment Land Supply is the right approach? (Please include site reference e.g. EC1-1p)

Existing Employment Areas

In addition to undeveloped land allocated for employment uses, there are other existing employment areas identified on the Policies Map. These areas are home to many successful businesses that contribute to North Lincolnshire's economy. There will inevitably be a degree of change within these areas over the plan period as businesses form, expand, contract and close. This is a normal process and the Plan accommodates this.

Policy EC2p: Existing Employment Areas
  1. Existing employment areas as identified on the Policies Map will be safeguarded for employment uses. Proposals which promote development or reuse of vacant sites located within existing employment areas for employment use will be supported subject to other relevant policies in the Plan.
  2. Proposals for the development of non-employment uses on existing employment sites will be permitted where:
    1. there is evidence to show that the site/building has reached the end of its useful economic life by:
      1. demonstrating that there is no demand for the reuse of the building/site, following a minimum period of 12 months marketing for the existing use with a recognised commercial agent at a reasonable price reflecting typical local land values;
      2. demonstrating that the physical adaption or reuse of the building is uneconomic in commercial terms; and,
    2. the non-employment use would be compatible with the operations of existing employment uses nearby.

Other Employment Proposals

Other employment proposals in locations not covered by the categories above will be supported, provided:

  • there is a clear demonstration that there are no suitable or appropriate sites or buildings within allocated sites or within the built up area of the existing settlement;
  • the scale of the proposal is commensurate with the scale and character of the existing settlement;
  • there is no significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area, and/or the amenity of neighbouring occupiers;
  • there are no significant adverse impacts on the local highway network;
  • there is no significant adverse impact on the viability of delivering any allocated employment site; and
  • the proposals maximise opportunities for modal shift away from the private car.

Expansion of Existing Businesses

The expansion of existing businesses which are currently located in areas outside allocated employment sites will be supported, provided:

  • existing buildings are reused where possible;
  • they do not conflict with neighbouring land uses;
  • they will not impact unacceptably on the local and/or strategic highway network; and
  • the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area.

Loss of Employment Sites and Buildings to Non Employment Uses

Conversion and redevelopment of, or change of use from, existing non-allocated employment sites and buildings to non-employment uses will be considered on their merits taking account of the following:

  • whether the loss of land or buildings would adversely affect the economic growth and employment opportunities in the area the site or building would likely serve;
  • whether the continued use of the site or building for employment purposes would adversely affect the character or appearance of its surroundings, amenities of neighbouring land-uses or traffic conditions that would otherwise be significantly alleviated by the proposed new use. It should also be shown that any alternative employment use at the site would continue to generate similar issues;
  • whether it is demonstrated that the site is inappropriate or unviable for any employment use to continue and no longer capable of providing an acceptable location for employment purposes; and
  • whether the applicant has provided clear documentary evidence that the property has been appropriately, but proportionately, marketed without a successful conclusion for a period of not less than 6 months on terms that reflect the lawful use and condition of the premises. This evidence will be considered in the context of local market conditions and the state of the wider national economy.

An approach that safeguards existing employment sites for employment uses provides support for existing business sectors that have established in North Lincolnshire. It recognises that businesses may need to expand over the plan period, depending on market conditions and working practices.

It is also recognised that market conditions alter over time and that certain employment sites may fall out of employment use. There is no justification for safeguarding sites in the long-term where there is no prospect of future employment use. Such an approach is considered to be unsustainable and to promote speedy regeneration, Policy EC2 allows for development of non-employment uses subject to specific criteria being met. These criteria relate to evidence confirming there is no reasonable prospect of re-establishing employment use; and checks to ensure that the proposed new use is acceptable, and will not compromise the existing employment uses in the area.

Existing Employment Areas

Settlement Site Location
Scunthorpe Normanby Enterprise Park
Scunthorpe Foxhills
Scunthorpe Sawcliffe Industry Park
Scunthorpe South Park Industrial Estate
Scunthorpe Hebden Road Industrial Estate
Scunthorpe Brigg Road/Midland Road/Grange Lane North/ Kingsway Business Park
Flixborough Flixborough Industrial Estate
Elsham Elsham Wolds Industrial Estate
Barton Upon Humber Humber Bridge Industrial Estate
Brigg Ancholme Business Park
Sandtoft Sandtoft Industrial Estate
New Holland New Holland Industrial Estate
North Killingholme South Humber Bank
Ealand Ealand – South of the Railway
Alternatives Considered

No alternative options considered through the consultation. However, through the consultation support was given for further economic growth for North Lincolnshire. The retention and growth of existing employment areas can only assist in maintaining and expanding local businesses whilst providing an element of flexibility that allows alternative uses if appropriate evidence can be provided.

Support was expressed for retaining the current sites in their current form. This includes the NPPF, PPG, and national objectives for the economy and environment. The existing Local Plan’s policy has been well supported and partly implemented over the preceding years.


Indicator Target
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC2p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC2p: Existing Employment Areas is the right approach?

Defined Industrial Buffer Areas

It is essential to maintain the separation between industrial and residential areas on amenity grounds and because much industrial building and activity can look unsightly.

The South Humber Bank Landscape Initiative, identified under policy EC4p, covers the industrial allocations on land to the east of Skitter Beck, and extends into the North East Lincolnshire Council area. On the South Humber Bank there is the potential to create a showcase where industry is placed in greater harmony with its surrounding countryside landscape character. The initiative aims to achieve individual improvements dovetailing with present and future operational needs and providing new habitats and a network of grassland, hedges, woodland and water between and around industry.

In this way, a more attractive environment can be created and maintained for the benefit of everyone concerned, in line with the wider environmental aims of this Plan.

Policy EC3p: Defined Industrial Buffer Areas

Development will not be permitted within the defined amenity buffer areas associated with the South Humber Bank, North Killingholme Airfield and the former British Sugar Site, Brigg industrial areas. Within these areas, schemes for indigenous tree and shrub planting and habitat creation will be required.

Alternatives Considered

No alternative options considered through the consultation. There was overall support of including a Local Plan policy for protecting the wider landscape which would include buffer areas between differing land-uses. There was a general view that protecting the environment was important. This includes the NPPF, PPG, and national objectives for the environment. The existing Local Plan policy has been well supported and implemented over the preceding years.


Indicator Target
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC3p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC3p: Defined Industrial Buffer Areas is the right approach?

South Humber Bank - Landscape Initiative

One of the key issues raised in this part of North Lincolnshire is the relationship between industry and nearby settlements. The environment of local communities is heavily dependent not only on the quality of the immediate setting within which the industry lies but also on the general character of the countryside which surrounds it. Buffer areas will be retained between settlements and industry. To protect important sites of nature conservation or amenity value it is proposed to set up a partnership involving the industrial and agricultural communities to co-ordinate and progress schemes of environmental enhancement.

The South Humber Bank Landscape Initiative offers good opportunities for industry and agriculture to help create a showcase where both are placed in greater harmony with their surroundings. In the case of industry, there is a growing public interest in the environment and an increasing concern about the effects large-scale industrial development can bring.

Individual improvements can be planned to dovetail with present and future operational needs. In this way a network of grassland, hedgerows, woodland and open water between and around industry could be developed. By planning ahead, landscape improvements could reach maturity in readiness for new developments to have considerable combined effect on the appearance of the whole industrial zone. A better environment for industry means a better image, a better workplace and better relations with the whole community. In addition, substantial scope exists to increase the recreational use of the area. Footpath links through to the Humber Bank can be enhanced and provision for many informal pursuits (walking, fishing etc.) can be improved for residents, workers and visitors.

Policy EC4p: South Humber Bank - Landscape Initiative

It is proposed that the following measures will be undertaken throughout the South Humber Bank Landscape Initiative area:

  1. softening - provision of stepped-back security fences, fringed with shrubs and trees;
  2. screening - establishment of mixed broad-leaf and conifer belts;
  3. habitat conservation - maintenance of wet areas and other existing features, such as woods and hedges, to provide a good framework for future improvements;
  4. habitat creation - introduction of lakes, ponds and marshes;
  5. field boundary management – careful management of existing hedges to increase height;
  6. tree and hedge planting - new planting, carefully positioned for maximum effect, with minimum impact on farm management industry’s operational needs and sites of archaeological importance.
Alternatives Considered

No alternative options considered through the consultation and there was overall support for including a Local Plan policy that protects the wider landscape. The general view was that protecting the environment was important. This includes the NPPF, PPG, and national objectives for the environment. The existing Local Plan policy has been well supported and implemented over the preceding years.


Indicator Target
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC4p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC4p: South Humber Bank - Landscape Initiative is the right approach?


The importance of the Rivers Humber and Trent is recognised nationally, regionally and locally as strategically important to the economy of the area. The ten existing wharf locations have been established for some time. The River Humber wharves are located between South Killingholme Haven and Barrow Haven and the River Trent wharves lie between Gunness and Burton upon Stather.

The area with the greatest potential for new, extended port, wharf and jetty facilities is located fronting a deep water channel of the River Humber between South Killingholme Haven and North Killingholme Haven. Special provision is made in Policy EC6p on this frontage for the development of jetties and the means of access to them.

New or extended wharves should not be considered in isolation to their surroundings. Such developments will be constrained by the criteria listed above, which are covered in more detail by other policies in the Plan. In particular, the River Humber and its coastal margins have special nature conservation area designations including Ramsar, SPA, SSSI, LNR and SINC and the River Trent wharves are generally surrounded by high grade agricultural land.

The Environment Agency will need to be satisfied that the integrity of the existing South Humber Bank tidal defence system is not compromised by further development as all land behind the flood defences is at risk from flooding (Policy DQE6p); and the road network accessing the wharf sites along the Rivers Humber and Trent will generally require improvement. It will be necessary to strike a balance between any wharf development and its direct or indirect impact on the river corridor landscape, coastal margins and the amenity of any settlement.

Policy EC5p: Wharves

Proposals for new or extended port, wharf and jetty facilities on the Rivers Humber and Trent will be permitted provided that there is no adverse impact on:

  1. sites of nature conservation interest;
  2. high quality agricultural land;
  3. the landscape of river corridors and coastal margins;
  4. the flood defence system;
  5. the strategic and local road network; and
  6. the amenity of settlements.
Alternatives Considered

No alternative options considered through the consultation. However, through the consultation support was given for further economic growth for North Lincolnshire. The retention and growth of existing wharves can only assist in maintaining and expanding local businesses and the wider economy.

Support was expressed for retaining the current sites in their current form. This includes the NPPF, PPG, and national objectives for the economy and environment. The existing Local Plan’s policy has been well supported and partly implemented over the preceding years.


Indicator Target
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC5p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC5p: Wharves is the right approach?

North Lincolnshire’s Rural Economy

Outside of Scunthorpe and the market towns North Lincolnshire hosts a wide range of rural enterprises that vary in size, usually operating in and around the villages. These rural businesses often have strong local connections in terms of origin and a local workforce, but also enjoy the attractive rural environment and the connections to a number of major centres.

A diversity of rural enterprise is essential for the future of North Lincolnshire’s economy. The Local Plan must guide development in a way which ensures that the natural and physical environment (infrastructure) remains attractive and a local workforce can be provided to service business.

In order to support the rural economy, where agricultural buildings are no longer needed for agriculture they can be converted to provide employment opportunities. Conversions can bring environmental improvements through good sensitive design or general improvements to the wider visual appearance of the area. However, it is also important to consider whether development is appropriate in its location, so that those attracting significant numbers of visitors or employees are located where they can be accessed by means other than the car.

Local planning policies are required to support farm diversification of agricultural and other land-based rural businesses. Farm diversification schemes such as farm shops, holiday accommodation, and farm-based processing and packaging can help maintain working farms. Enterprise relating to the keeping or breeding of equines are common in the rural areas and form an essential part of the rural economy.

Policy EC6p: Supporting the Rural Economy

The council will seek to develop a sustainable rural economy by supporting appropriate, small scale rural enterprise. Proposals to diversify the range of economic activities on a farm or in a rural area will be supported where proposals:

  1. benefit the local community and do not adversely affect quality of life or the amenity of local residents.
  2. conserve and enhance local character.
  3. are consistent in scale and environmental impact with their rural location.
  4. involve the conversion of an existing building. New build only schemes will be considered as an exception.
  5. have no detrimental impact on existing village shops and business.
  6. demonstrate traffic generation can be satisfactorily accommodated by the existing or planned local road network, ensuring access arrangements are acceptable to the scale and type of development with no adverse effect on highway safety.
  7. have no unacceptable effect on water quality or flooding, watercourses, biodiversity or important wildlife habitats.
Alternatives Considered

There was support for the approach that encouraged genuine proposals for rural enterprise within North Lincolnshire and to allocate sites for small-scale employment opportunities. It was felt that the Local Plan should support the area’s rural economy and allow for opportunities for diversification in appropriate locations. This would ensure existing businesses are able to continue to operate and grow, as well as allow economic development opportunities of an appropriate scale and nature to come forward. In addition, it was felt that any strategy for small scale rural enterprises would be as flexible as possible. The conversion of existing buildings/sites for rural businesses was supported.


Indicator Target
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC6p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC6p: Supporting the Rural Economy is the right approach?

Visitor Economy

The visitor economy is an important and resilient part of North Lincolnshire’s overall economy contributing some £167m. It is estimated that over 2,306 local people are employed full-time in the industry and in 2015 there were 3 million day visits to North Lincolnshire attractions alone.

Many parts of North Lincolnshire have the potential to develop their visitor offer to attract more short-stay and long-stay visitors from within the region as well as from national and international locations. Boosting visitor numbers and the amount of money and time they spend in the area will lead to a range of business opportunities as well as supporting investment in the area’s natural and historic tourism assets and town centres. Key tourism attractions such as Normanby Hall, the Humber Estuary, Thorne and Crowle Moors, the Market Towns and the surrounding attractive countryside have a huge role to play in developing and moving forward North Lincolnshire’s tourism offer.

Planning for tourism should ensure that in maximising North Lincolnshire’s assets we do not harm the very character, quality and beauty that make them attractive to residents and visitors. It is, therefore, essential that appropriately-scaled facilities and infrastructure are in place that support the economic potential that tourism offers whilst protecting the wider environment itself.

Tourism facts

  • Total visitor numbers to North Lincolnshire stand at 3.46m, a rise of 6.2% since 2009, and an increase of 1.8% on 2014.
  • Day visits to North Lincolnshire (3.038m) represent 87.8% of the total visits to North Lincolnshire and have grown by 4.5% since 2009, and increased by 1.8% on 2014. Staying visits (423,000) represent 12.2% of the total visits to North Lincolnshire and have grown by 20.4% since 2009, and increased by 1.3% on 2014.
  • On average, visitors staying in North Lincolnshire spend 2.36 days in the area and spend £9.8 million on accommodation (3.2% increase). Between 2014 and 2015 the average length of stay for all staying visitors rose by 1.1%.
  • Over 4 million Visitor Days and Nights generated in North Lincolnshire in 2015 (2% increase on 2014). (North Lincolnshire Integrated Strategic Assessment January 2019)
Policy EC7p: A Sustainable Visitor Economy

Development and activities that will deliver high quality sustainable visitor facilities such as culture and leisure facilities, sporting attractions and accommodation, including proposals for temporary permission in support of the promotion of events and festivals, will be supported. Such development and activities should be designed so that they:

  1. contribute to the local economy; and
  2. benefit both local communities and visitors; and
  3. respect the intrinsic natural and built environmental qualities of the area; and
  4. are appropriate for the character of the local environment in scale and nature.

The provision of new visitor attractions or the expansion of existing attractions will be permitted provided:

  1. it is located in sustainable and accessible locations or can be made so;
  2. it is appropriate to the site’s location in terms of scale, design, layout and materials;
  3. it does not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the areas valuable natural, built or heritage assets and helps to enhance any affected asset;
  4. it can demonstrate the viability of the new attraction or where appropriate helps support the viability of an existing attraction; and
  5. it enhances and complements existing visitor attractions or priorities in the area and supports the development of a year-round visitor economy and/or extends visitor stays.

Where a countryside location is necessary the development should:

  • meet identified visitor needs;
  • support local employment and community services;
  • ensure adequate infrastructure; and
  • relate to an existing tourism asset that is based upon a site specific natural or heritage feature.

Large Scale Development

Comprehensive master planning and a robust business plan to articulate the potential impacts, proposed mitigation and economic, social and environmental benefits should accompany applications for large scale new or expanding visitor attractions.

New visitor attractions will be directed to accessible and sustainable locations in the first instance in order to address the need to develop the visitor offer and encourage visitors to stay longer. Where development is not in accessible locations it will be focussed on the conversion of existing buildings and developments that contribute to rural diversification, enjoyment of the countryside and access to heritage.

Planning for tourism should make the most of our assets, enriching them rather than harming the very character, quality and beauty that makes them attractive to residents and visitors. This can be achieved by ensuring development is appropriately located and levels of visitor activity are not likely to significantly affect protected sites and species, particularly those of National and European Importance.

To encourage a broad range of visitors in addition to day visitors, and to meet the accommodation needs of businesses in the area, it is necessary to offer a wide range of visitor accommodation including hotels, bed and breakfasts and self-catering facilities. In terms of existing provision, Scunthorpe in particular lacks hotel accommodation of the size and quality to fully capitalise on the market for accommodating local business visitors. The North Lincolnshire area as a whole acts as both a visitor attraction in itself and as a touring base for the wider Lincolnshire and North Humber Bank area, and as such, offers wide opportunities for expanding accommodation.

Alternatives Considered

Through the consultation support was expressed for the development/expansion of existing tourist attractions whilst maintaining the balance between tourism growth and protecting those features that make the area attractive to visitors. It was highlighted that the leisure sector was growing and given this, the area should improve its offering by looking to create new attractions or facilities that will bring visitors to the area, whilst continuing to support the growth and development of existing ones.

Aside from above no other specific options were highlighted and site specific schemes mentioned as part of the consultation would be covered by EC7p’s policy criteria.


Indicator Target
Visitor Numbers - Total Visitors (STEAM) 3.6m tourism visits during 2017 - increase of 28.1% since 2010. Target - to increase annually.
Visitor Numbers - Day Visitors (STEAM) Day visitor numbers show an increase since 2013, and are at their highest ever level since STEAM data was first available in 2009. The largest increase in the number of day visitors was 9.3% between 2013 and 2014, when an additional 250,000 visitors came to North Lincolnshire. The 2017 data shows an additional 5.2% day visitors since 2016, the next largest increase. Target - to increase annually.
Visitor Numbers - Staying Visitors (STEAM) Staying visitor numbers increased from 2013 to 2015, but showed a slight fall in 2016. This has now recovered in 2017, increasing by 1.1%, when an additional 4,429 visitors came to stay in North Lincolnshire. Target - to increase annually.
Appeals upheld contrary to this policy. None upheld at appeal.
Question EC7p

Do you think the Preferred Policy EC7p: A Sustainable Visitor Economy is the right approach?