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 min read

SHLAA - What does it mean?

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment or in short (SHLAA) is a study which every local authority is required to undertake. It gives an overview of potential development sites within each authorities boundary.

Published on
July 9, 2022

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment or in short (SHLAA) is a study which every local authority is required to undertake. It gives an overview of potential development sites within each authorities boundary.

The SHLAA study is used as a leading indicator of the authorities available land/brownfield sites for development. This will help identify if the council is significantly behind it's 5 year housing target.

There are a number of stages during the study, however every councils process may differ slightly. In most cases authorities will start with a "Call for Sites" which means anyone including land owners, developers or anyone can submit a site for them to review. For all intents and purposes this is just a long list of sites which could end up in the SHLAA study, but in no way guaranteed.

The council will then undergo an assessment process for all the sites in the long list and compare them to a threshold (specific to each authority). The threshold could include size, constraints, deliverability based on the local policy and others which each authority will take into account.

Once accepted into the short list (SHLAA sites) this will be released to the public. Just because a site lands in this list does not mean it will definitely be delivered, it is simply an acknowledgment from the authority that housing could be built on the site. The normal planning process will still apply and could be rejected for a number of other reasons.

SHLAA sites will be updated periodically by the council.

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