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 availability, suitability 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 the 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 years one to five of a plan period; and
  • specific developable sites or broad locations for growth, for years 6-10 and, where possible, for years 11-15 of the plan.

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. It should be noted that if a site is included within the SHELAA, it does not mean it will be automatically granted planning permission or allocated within a Local Plan. The SHELAA is not a statement of Council planning policy.

Call for Sites and Broad Locations

Following the withdrawal of the Wealden Local Plan (January, 2019) at Full Council on 19 February 2020, the Council has started work to progress a new Local Plan. The 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.

We will be reviewing all sites previously submitted to us. Please submit to us the SHELAA review form to ensure we have the most up-to-date information including site information and contact details.

As part of the SHELAA process we are also undertaking a formal ‘Call for Sites’. If you or your client wishes to submit any additional sites to us, then a new SHELAA site form should be completed and submitted to the Council between 1st June and 10th August 2020. The method for submitting sites is below.

Submitting Sites

If you are considering submitting a new site, please complete the SHELAA New Site Form  by 10th August 2020 and return it to or using the contact details below. All new sites submitted will be considered by Wealden District Council for the next iteration of its SHELAA report. This will published alongside the Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation which is anticipated to take place in Spring 2022.

If you have previously submitted a site for 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.

Draft SHELAA Methodology 2020

The Council has produced a new draft SHELAA methodology that will be used to assess sites for their suitability, availability and achievability. If you wish to make comments on the draft SHELAA methodology, then please let us know by submitting your comments to us by the 29th June 2020 at

SHELAA Report – January 2019

This report provides the site assessments for all sites submitted to the Council for development up until 15th November 2018. The main SHELAA report that includes the methodology for the site assessments, as well as individual site summaries for each site submitted (up to 15th November 2018) has been produced by Wealden District Council. The main SHELAA report and the appendices are available to be downloaded below: