17-hectare Food Enterprise Zone moves a step closer

South Holland District Council has formally approved an Order giving a range of planning freedoms for a 17-hectare Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ) at Holbeach.

Local Development Orders, such as the one at Holbeach which was supported by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) effectively grant planning permission in advance for a range of buildings and uses. They streamline the planning process by removing the need for developers to make separate planning applications within a defined site or area.

The Holbeach FEZ site is accessed by the new roundabout on the A151 and directly linked to the A17 by the new roundabout at Peppermint junction. Permission has already been granted on the site for the University of Lincoln to build a Centre of Excellence in Agri-Food. The ambition is for the whole of the FEZ site to provide an agri-food hub for the district’s agricultural and food industry, offering high-quality accommodation, business support, technology, education and training facilities to promote and maximise the positive impact food and agriculture has on the local economy.

Deputy leader Nick Worth, portfolio holder for growth and commercialisation, said: “This is a fantastic news story for the South Holland economy in the long term. This Local Development Order will provide an incentive for food and related businesses to locate on the Food Enterprise Zone and will meet with the wider economic objectives we have for the region – set out in the Greater Lincolnshire Agri-Foods Sector Plan.”

Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place, Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Agri-food and food manufacturing are of enormous importance to the county. In fact, the food sector is our third biggest sector and contributes £2.5 billion every year to the area’s economy. By developing land for the food enterprise zone, we want to support existing businesses, while also attracting those interested in investing and relocating to the county. And this is an important step towards that goal.

“The planning system can be complicated, but this new order will dramatically simplify things, making it easier to invest here. That should put Holbeach at the epicentre of the food production sector. It’s never been clearer that Lincolnshire is open for business.”