Agenda item

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and Economic Land Availability Assessment (ELAA) - Maximising Supply


The Senior Planning Officers (Policy) presented a report which updated Members on progress with the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and the Economic Land Availability Assessment (ELAA). 


A call for sites had run from September to November 2015 and approximately 250 sites had been submitted across the District, with 30 more since the deadline which had yet to be assessed and there was no guarantee that sites submitted after the deadline would appear in the forthcoming iteration of the SHLAA and/or ELAA. 


Members noted a paper which was tabled indicating that since the publication of papers on 13 June, the following sites had been withdrawn: H095 – land fronting The Street and Horton Road, Horton Kirby; H098 – land west of Great Til Close, Otford; and H0111 – land at The Log Shed, Camp Hill, Chiddingstone Causeway.


Officers were inviting comments on the accuracy of the information set out in the site appraisals in order to ensure they were robust. It was reiterated that comments on the suitability of the sites were not being invited at this stage.  These were purely factual summaries and was an open process with lots of opportunity to comment on the accuracy of site information using the email address provided ( ).  Members clarified the kind of things the Officers were looking for such as: infrastructure; localised flooding; unofficial parking; road capacity; sewerage; site names; and agreed to send in their comments.


In addition to the call for sites and as required by the Government’s Planning Practice Guidance (PPG), Officers had also explored other elements of supply in order to boost the supply of housing, and found: 18 existing housing and economic development allocation sites without detailed planning permission or with unimplemented planning permission; 31 sites that featured in the 2008/09 SHLAA that had not been resubmitted or gained planning permission since; 30 sites with planning applications that had been refused or withdrawn that could accommodate 5 or more units; and 430 properties currently on the Empty Properties Register, all to be re-appraised and included in the SHLAA or investigated further.


Given the very limited number of sites submitted within existing settlement boundaries, and the significant number of sites submitted subject to Green Belt and other constraints, it was apparent that there was a considerable gap between the identified unconstrained objectively assessed housing need and the supply of available land in the District. In order to gain further evidence that would enable officers to make recommendations on the suitability of the sites there would be a Green Belt Assessment and a separate Landscape Character and Capacity Study which would run in parallel and be reported in early 2017.


Officers were thanked for their time on the SHLAA briefings for Members that had taken place.

Officers referred to information contained within the report and responded to questions from members of the Committee, other Members and the public who the Chairman gave discretion to address the meeting.  


Action 2: Chief Planning Officer to arrange a meeting for members with Kent Highways Services for them to explain their role in the site assessment process.


The reason why the current Core Strategy could not be relied upon and was being revisited was explained by the Chief Planning Officer.  He also explained why the process of calling for the sites first and then eliminating them with robust and sound evidence had been used in order to be as transparent and fair as possible and if necessary, able to evidence to an Inspector why the need could not be met.  Anything put forward or dismissed by the Council could still be overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.


Public Sector Equality Duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.


Resolved:  That

a)        the sites submitted in the recent call for sites,attached at Appendix B, to the report, be noted;

b)        the progress on the maximising supply exercise be noted; and

c)       the next steps in evidence gathering, be noted.

Supporting documents:


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