Wealden District Council
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Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA)

The Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) is an essential piece of evidence which is required to support the Local Plan process. The assessment is promoted and set out in National Planning Practice Guidance. It is a technical assessment which considers the suitability, availability and achievability of land in the district for possible development. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) confirms that strategic policy-making authorities should have a clear understanding of the land available in its area through the preparation of a strategic housing and economic land availability assessment and that planning policies should identify a supply of:

  • specific, deliverable sites for five years following the intended date of adoption of a Local Plan; and
  • specific developable sites or broad locations for growth, for the subsequent years 6-10 and, where possible, for years 11-15 of the remaining plan period.

The assessment does not in itself determine whether a site should be allocated for development but is a high-level assessment used as a starting point to decide whether sites could be developed for housing, economic development or other uses in a Local Plan.

Submitting Sites

If you have a new site you would like the Council to consider for development in the future, then you can submit to us at any time by completing the SHELAA New Site Form  and return it to shelaa@wealden.gov.uk. All SHELAA submissions submitted to us at this stage will be considered as part of the Regulation 19 Local Plan process.

If you have previously submitted a site for the SHELAA then please complete the SHELAA Review Form. The Council is required to review its SHELAA including understanding whether sites that have already been submitted are available for the delivery of new homes/commercial development and will be reporting on this through the SHELAA process.

If you/your client wishes to withdraw a previously submitted site, then please complete the following SHELAA Withdrawal Form.

Lastly, if the site you intend to submit is considered to be Previously Developed Land (PDL) (known as ‘Brownfield’ sites) then the site will also be considered for the next iteration of the Brownfield Land Register, if it meets those requirements. The Brownfield Land Register is published at the end of each calendar year.

Call for Sites and Broad Locations

The new Local Plan will set out a vision and framework for the future development of the district. As part of this process, we are updating our land availability evidence through the SHELAA, to identify a future supply of land which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development and other uses as relevant.

As part of this SHELAA process we undertook a formal ‘Call for Sites’ between 1 June and 10 August 2020. This is where landowners are able to submit their land for a formal assessment as to the site’s suitability and deliverability for development. The Council is intending to undertake a further formal ‘Call for Sites’ process alongside the consultation on the Regulation 18 Local Plan intended to take place in March. Further details will be provided on this shortly.  

Online SHELAA Mapping

The Council’s online mapping system has now mapped a number of SHELAA sites, including all sites published within the previous SHELAA in January 2019. This mapping system will be updated at regular intervals and will map all sites included within the SHELAA published in 2024.

To use the mapping system, click on the following link:

Online Mapping System

In order to see the relevant layers, go to ‘map features’ icon in the top left-hand corner of the screen and click ‘planning policy’ to toggle the layers on/off as required. We suggest turning both layers of the SHELAA on to see the full list of sites available to view. The SHELAA is not a statement of Council planning policy, it is an evidence base to inform plan making only.

SHELAA Methodology Post Consultation Statement

The Council had produced a new draft SHELAA methodology was published in June 2020. This SHELAA methodology was intended to be used to assess sites for their suitability, availability and achievability and was consulted upon between 1 June 2020 and 29 June 2020. In total, 17 responses were received from a range of respondents including statutory consultees, wildlife groups, parish and town councils, local residents and land agents.

The SHELAA Methodology Post Consultation Statement is published below as Council’s response to that consultation. Changes made to the SHELAA Methodology are incorporated into the new SHELAA Report for February 2024. Please see the SHELAA Methodology Post Consultation Statement below:

SHELAA Report – February 2024

This report provides the site assessments for all sites submitted to the Council for development up until 31st March 2023. The main SHELAA report that includes the methodology for the site assessments, as well as individual site summaries for each site submitted has been produced by Wealden District Council in support of its Regulation 18 Local Plan. The main SHELAA report and the appendices are available to be downloaded below: