The year ahead: Lincoln in 2012

— After a week of looking back at the most important developments in Lincoln throughout 2011, it’s time to see what’s in store for the city in 2012

Fresh into the new year, Lincoln will be welcoming Royalty again on January 19 as the University of Lincoln and Siemens welcome HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, to inaugurate the newly built Engineering Hub. She will tour the building from 12.15pm, before unveiling a special plaque. The £15 million mental rehabilitation centre off Long Leys Road, Discovery House, is set to open in January as well.

Local elections will be held on May 3, when residents can decide which party takes responsibility for the city at City Hall. Last year, Labour returned to power after losing out to the Conservatives in 2007, so expect a close race at the polls.

Yarborough Sports Ground will hold overnight celebrations for the Olympic Torch procession through Lincoln on June 27, exactly one month before the opening ceremony in London. The event will be free to attend, but details about what it will entail are currently under wraps. The Olympic Flame will leave Lincoln on June 28 to continue its journey through Saxilby, Grantham, Stamford and Market Deeping.

Work continues on the £7.5 million development of Lincoln College’s main city centre campus into the new year, which will include a brand new sport, health and spa facility at the Deans Building, as well as an all-weather sports pitch. Meanwhile, the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University College will see if their student numbers will be affected by the rise in tuition fees, up to £9,000 per year.

Lincolnshire County Council will work in 2012 towards fulfilling a set of conditions Chancellor George Osbourne imposed before approving the Lincoln Eastern Bypass funding bid in November 2011. The government will contribute £50 million towards the single-carriageway bypass, which is expected to cost £94 million in total. The County Council is contributing with £14 million and is underwriting £34 million of third-party funding. Construction could start in 2014.

Further developments on the Lindongate project are expected in the first half of the year, as a revised planning application is currently with planners at the City Council. Lindongate will see the south-east corner of Lincoln city centre receive a new shopping complex, car park and bus station. The proposal should encourage the use of public transport and improve footfall to and from the High Street. The project would take up to 30 months to complete, and is assumed to be complete in early 2015, creating up to 3,250 regional direct and indirect jobs.

Elsewhere in the city in 2012, a proposal for a new Lidl, a mosque and some new housing to be built on the site of the former Boultham Dairy has been approved. Full planning permission was granted for the supermarket and associated parking, whereas outline permission was given for a housing estate and secondary building, which may be turned into a mosque. The details of the housing development and the mosque will be subject to certain reserved matters in 2012, which include design, archeology and affordable housing. Meanwhile, on Newark Road, the site of the Waggon and Horses pub will be turned into a housing complex and associate car parking.

The High Street will also see a new, modern River Island store. The current small unit housing Next and Sundance will be removed and in its place a large, glass-fronted unit will be built. In addition, those exhausted after a walk up Steep Hill will be able to grab a tasty pasty, as the Cornish Pasty Shop received permission to open a new outlet at the top of the street.