Lincolnshire County Council has agreed to object to development on the best agricultural land as part of measures to tackle climate change in the county.
Members of the full council on Friday voted in favour of the authority’s green master plan and a motion by Conservative executive member for economy and plan Councillor Colin Davie which promoted a number of zero or low carbon agenda items.
However opposition members say it still does not go far enough.
Councillor Davie’s motion said: “Of increasing importance post-Brexit is the fact that the county makes one of the largest contributions to the fresh produce supply for the nation.
“We recognise the value of our land. Therefore we will object to any development proposal on Grade 1 land, unless it is temporary, time-limited, provides demonstrable alternative environmental benefits or where there is no viable alternative.”
Councillor Davie told councillors: the land was “worth so much to our economy and was a key part of the national strategy.”
The motion also called on the council to play a “leadership role” and to work with partners such as the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership on low and zero carbon policies – including in the development of new housing.
The council already looks to object to large on-shore wind turbine developments and the motion reaffirmed that – particularly as the technology continues to grow in size.
A majority of councillors voted in favour of the plans.
However, despite their support, some councillors said the council’s plans, which include a series of projects including LED streetlights, using council buildings for energy generation through things such as solar power and reducing paper and waste, did not go far enough.
LCC has a target of 2050 for zero carbon, however, members felt it could move quicker.
Opposition (Labour) Councillor Robin Renshaw said the authority was “taking the slow train”, while Lincolnshire Independent Councillor Marianne Overton said it was “nothing like far enough or imaginative enough.”
Independent Councillor Chris Brewis added: “In the next four or five years, the urgency of what is happening in the world will come to haunt everybody and the idea of doing this to 2050 will be looked on in a few years time as very slow.”