Pictured is the Alexandra Dock housing site near the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The 6.25 acre site has been earmarked by the Council for urban housing as part of efforts to redevelop brownfield sites. It will eventually see a community of around 130 homes with supporting commercial accommodation
GREEN energy, the Humber Freeport and decarbonisation of major industry are behind predicted jobs growth in North East Lincolnshire, which is outlined in the draft Local Plan Review.
One crucial element of the Review, which is currently out to public consultation, is to forecast how many jobs could be created in the borough between now and 2042.
Once that is done, the task is then to determine the number of new homes that would be required to support this employment growth. This is a requirement of the local plan process.
There are two jobs growth figures outlined in the review, which goes on to detail how the council is considering using the lower of those two to calculate the number of new homes needed – with flexibility to increase that target if the higher jobs number comes to fruition.
Considering both the jobs growth and new homes, North East Lincolnshire Council has made it clear that it remains committed to its long-term ambition for growth, with a pledge to keep a ‘pro-growth’ strategy that supports the authority’s economic vision.
This emphasis on growth is considered essential to support the local economy and improve the lives of residents of the borough, says the Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Transport Cllr Stewart Swinburn.
“North East Lincolnshire must develop as a place where people want to live and work. If that does not happen, we risk stagnating as a borough and the council is committed to ensuring that does not happen,” he said.
The draft review sets out forecasts from national data experts Experian, which outlines at least 2,600 new jobs could be created in the borough by 2042. However, this does not include additional jobs, which could come from future growth within the renewables sector, and importantly, opportunities that the Humber Freeport could bring.
The Government’s Freeports programme aims to attract investment on sites where normal tax and customs rules do not apply, and brings opportunities for growth, investment, and innovation within the wider Freeport boundary. The Humber now has this status, which is centred around its four port locations of Hull, Goole, Immingham, and Grimsby. It is predicted that this could mean up to £650m of investment injected into the region, providing a catalyst for jobs growth.
Taking the above and other opportunities into account, industry leaders predict another 1,960 jobs could be created by 2042, in the following areas:
- Humber Zero (Part of the zero carbon Humber vision involving hydrogen production) +200 jobs (excluding 2,500 minimum 3-year construction jobs);
- Humber H2ub (Part of the zero carbon Humber vision involving hydrogen production) +150 jobs;
- Gigastack (Part of the zero carbon Humber vision involving wind energy/hydrogen production) +180 jobs;
- Immingham Green energy terminal (Hydrogen production) +1,000 jobs;
- RWE Grimsby Wind Farm Hub (operations and maintenance) +60 jobs;
- Orsted Wind Energy +250 jobs;
- Hornsea Wind Energy +120 jobs.
The draft review recommendation is for 415 new homes to be built annually using the lower Experian figure of 2,600. It adds however that, in setting that as a requirement, some flexibility will be required to bring forward further sites if that jobs figure is surpassed looking forward to 2042.
Cllr Swinburn added: “This council wants people who work in our borough to also live here as this will maximise the economic benefits to the area.
“However, we realise that economic development not just here, but country-wide, can be influenced by various factors that directly impact jobs growth, either positively or negatively. When looking at the housing targets, this has been considered.
“Of course, we realise that for people to enjoy living and working in North East Lincolnshire it is not just good homes that we need. We also need to continue our journey of regeneration, and that is what we are doing with the work currently taking place within Grimsby Town Centre, and in Cleethorpes. We must not be afraid to look at how we can move this area forward, and do all we can to maximise the opportunities that we have now and in the future.”
An expert’s view: Dr Jingxia Wang, is a lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield.
She says: “The link between jobs and homes in a Local Plan is one of the most important elements. It is the recipe for a good quality of life for local people.
“Public consultations give policymakers at all levels the chance to dig down so that they can understand the challenges faced by local residents, such as the relationship between where they live, where their children go to school and how far away they work. It is an opportunity for people to announce their needs and for planners to hear them. There will always have to be compromises, but the public viewpoint is important to the look and feel of a region to provide the best quality of life for residents.”
Ways to take part:
- The consultation is open until Friday 8 March with all North East Lincolnshire residents who take part entered into a draw to win a £100 shopping voucher. It can be completed online at www.nelincs-consult.objective.co.uk/kse/
- To read an overview and more explanations go to www.nelincs.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/local-plan-review/
- Email any questions or further comments to [email protected] or write to Equans, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU.
- Paper copies are available to view at: North East Lincolnshire Council, Municipal Offices reception; Gingerbread House, Humberston; Scartho Community Hub; Grimsby Library; Waltham Library; Immingham Library and Cleethorpes Library.
- Paper copies of the Draft Plan are also available to print out on request from the Planning Department at Equans, Municipal Offices Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU. A charge will be made to cover the cost of printing.
- A wide range of events on the draft review will take place over the coming weeks – the next one is Thursday 1 February at Grimsby Library from 2pm until 5.30pm, followed by Immingham Library on Saturday 3 February between 10am and 1pm, Cleethorpes Library on Thursday 20 February between 1pm and 4pm, and Grimsby Library on Saturday 24 February from 9am until 1pm.