Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA)

The Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) is a process that we carry out to find possible land for development. The assessment of land availability is promoted and set out in National Planning Practice Guidance.

We need a SHELAA to enable the Council to identify sufficient land to meet its ten year requirement for housing as required by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

In order to identify a list of potential housing sites for 5, 10 and 15 year periods, the SHELAA contains:

  • A list of sites cross referenced to maps
  • Identification of constraints which may influence a site coming forward
  • Recommendations on how these constraints could be overcome and when
  • An assessment of the deliverability/ developability of each identified site
  • An assumption as to when the site is likely to come forward for development
  • An assumption on the potential quantity of units that could be delivered on each site

The SHELAA is a high level assessment used as a starting point to decide whether sites could be developed for housing, business or other uses in the Local Plan or a Neighbourhood Plan.

Please note, if a site is in the SHELAA, it does not mean it will be automatically given planning permission or allocated. All planning applications will continue to be considered against the appropriate policies and any other material considerations.

Inclusion of sites

Any site can be submitted to the SHELAA for assessment provided it meets the required thresholds of over 5 units for residential development or over 0.25 hectares (500sqm) for economic land.

The SHELAA does not allocate sites for development nor preclude future allocation. The allocation of sites for future housing development will be identified through the Local Plan or Neighbourhood Plans.

The inclusion of potential sites within the SHELAA does not preclude them from being considered for other uses. The boundaries of sites are based on the information available at the time of the assessment. The SHELAA does not limit an extension or contraction of these boundaries for the purpose of a planning application.

The exclusion of sites from the SHELAA (e.g. because they fall below the required threshold of 5 units for residential development and 0.25ha for economic land) does not preclude the possibility of a planning application for being submitted on that site and later granted. Suitable sites will continue to come forward for development on sites that have not been identified in the SHELAA, for example through Neighbourhood Planning.

The housing capacity of a site in the study either relates to the number of dwellings granted in a planning permission (where applicable) or is an estimate based on an assessment of what could be an appropriate density for the site in question. Please note that the site capacities in the report do not preclude different densities being applied on sites, subject to details.

Submit a site for consideration

There is no limit to the amount of land that can be included within the SHELAA, and therefore no limit on the number of sites which can be submitted.

If you have a site you would like the Council to consider for development in the future you can submit this to us at any time using the SHELAA Site Submission Form below.

If you would like to receive formal notification of the Local Plan Review publications, and have not already done so, please register on our consultation system which is accessible via this link: Sign Up for Local Plan Updates

Submit a site