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 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 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.

Call for Sites and Broad Locations – Online Mapping

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 also undertook a formal ‘Call for Sites’ between 1st June and 10th August 2020. This is where landowners are able to submit their land for a formal assessment as to the sites suitability and deliverability for development. The Council’s online mapping system has now mapped the majority of those sites as well as all sites published within the previous SHELAA in January 2019. This mapping system will be updated at regular intervals.

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. At this stage, the map only shows sites that are submitted to use for assessment. We have not yet assessed any of the new sites and there are still some to map, which will be completed at regular intervals. It therefore follows that a site being shown does not mean that the site is suitable for development or that the site has planning permission or will be automatically granted planning permission or allocated within a Local Plan. The SHELAA is not a statement of Council planning policy, it is an evidence base to inform plan making only.         

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 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. The Council has received comments on this document that it is considering and will publish the final SHELAA methodology shortly.

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:

SHELAA Report – January 2019