SHLAAs Explained: What are they? And what do they do?

At our recent NPD Update Meeting for the Parish (Nov 23rd 2016), many people were unaware of what a ‘Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)’ is…

As this is a very important document, we thought we’d help to explain what it is and what it’s used for (in the context of our own NDP).

What is the purpose of the assessment of land availability?

(This text has been taken from the Planning Guidance website – and is therefore taken directly from a Government source).

An assessment of land availability identifies a future supply of land which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development uses over the plan period. The assessment of land availability includes the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) requirement as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework.

The assessment of land availability is an important step in the preparation of Local Plans (i.e., our own NDP).  The National Planning Policy Framework identifies the advantages of carrying out land assessments for housing and economic development as part of the same exercise, in order that sites may be allocated for the use which is most appropriate.

An assessment should:

This approach ensures that all land is assessed together as part of Plan preparation to identify which sites or broad locations are the most suitable and deliverable for a particular use.