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Planning & building

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Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

The Council prepared a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) in 2009 to provide information on the future housing potential in Sedgemoor, and to identify the land that is available (or likely to become available) for housing in the foreseeable future. The findings of this assessment informed the preparation of the Council's Core Strategy.

NB. An updated SHLAA will shortly be prepared, and the Council has recently asked for suggestions of potential development sites. See Call for Sites for more information.

In June 2008 the Council undertook a call for sites to assess opportunities for housing land into the future. This also included collecting information from existing sources, including sites already in the planning process e.g. current allocations, sites with permission or under construction and development briefs. Other sources of information, such as the Empty Property Register, National Land Use Database, Register of Surplus Public Sector Land, Employment Land Review, Vacant Property Register and Commercial Property databases were also considered.

The SHLAA report and its appendices are available below for download.

The purpose of the SHLAA is to:

  • Identify potential housing sites; it is the role of the Core Strategy to determine the distribution strategy;
  • Enable sites to be assessed on a consistent basis;
  • Give an initial site appraisal based on the best immediately available information, without prioritising sites;

It is important to appreciate that the SHLAA is not intended to do the job of the Core Strategy and make decisions in principle about the development of specific sites. Whilst it identifies potential housing land, it does not make judgements about whether this should be included in the Core Strategy or whether it should form part of the 5 year housing supply. Therefore, when a site is identified in the assessment this does not guarantee its inclusion in revised development plans or that planning permission will be granted. Nevertheless, it helps to make sure that the evidence base used in the review of planning policies is as thorough as possible. The SHLAA has no status as policy in its own right.

The Core Strategy was adopted in October 2011. Broad locations for housing have been identified in Bridgwater (Policy P1) and Highbridge (P3). Rural towns and villages that have been identified as Key Rural Settlements or Other Sustainable Settlements (Policies P4 and P5) have retained their current development boundaries. No sites have been identified in these smaller settlements, but provision is made for housing that meets local needs, is sustainable, and is appropriate to the size and facilities of the settlement. Other villages will have no development boundaries and will be treated as countryside with any development relating to specific countryside needs such as agriculture (Policy P6). Please see the Core Strategy for more information.

If your site is not included within the SHLAA list, this does not preclude you from applying for planning permission. Such applications will be assessed against the requirements of the adopted Core Strategy.

pdf icon SHLAA Site Index [249kb]


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