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Derby Housing Market Area Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

The government requires that all local authorities carry out assessments to identify sites in their areas which have the potential to provide new housing, to assess if and when they are likely to be developed and how many dwellings could potentially be built on them.

These assessments are called Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs) and they are a key piece of the evidence which underpins the Core Strategy of each authority.

It is very important to note that the SHLAA itself is a piece of evidence, not an allocations document. It does not allocate land for any specific use and it does not imply that planning permission should be granted for any specific use. The allocation of sites will be made through Core Strategy and Site Allocations Development Plan Documents which each authority will produce. However the decisions to allocate specific sites in these documents will be drawn from the evidence that the SHLAA presents.

SHLAAs should be produced at a Housing Market Area (HMA) level and they should be regularly reviewed in order to keep them up to date.  The Derby HMA is defined in the East Midlands Regional Plan and is made up of the three local authority areas of Derby City, Amber Valley and South Derbyshire. Officers of the three local authorities and of Derbyshire County Council have been working together to prepare the SHLAA and joint working has been particularly important because some of the required new growth for Derby City will need to be in Amber Valley and to a greater degree in South Derbyshire.

The assessment process has been governed by a methodology which is based on guidance published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and which was endorsed by the Derby HMA Local Housing Partnership (LHP). The LHP includes representatives from the Planning and Housing sections of each of the Local Authorities, local developers and property agents, the Homes and Communities Agency and other bodies with housing related interests and knowledge. This is consistent with government advice and best practice guidance is that a public/private sector partnership approach is important.

The types of sources of sites which are included in the SHLAA include sites which already have planning permission for residential uses but which have not yet been developed, sites which are allocated for residential uses in adopted Local Plans of the authorities, sites which officers of the authorities have identified as having potential for residential uses and sites which have been promoted as suitable for housing to be built on them by land owners, agents and developers. 

Because the SHLAA is not a one off study and should be reviewed regularly, any interested parties will be able to send comments on the assessment to the relevant local authority. They can suggest changes to assessments we have made, indicate other sites which they feel should be included or make general comments about the methodology. Although there is no formal consultation period for the SHLAA, the assessment will then be updated to take any relevant representations on board and to include the most up to date information. A revised assessment will be published before the submission of the Core Strategies for each local authority which are programmed to take place in June 2011.

In the meantime, further detailed work will be carried out to assess the constraints which exist on some of the sites identified in the SHLAA and to consider how they may be overcome. Further work will also be undertaken on traffic and transport modelling to assess the potential impacts of developing sites. A much more detailed study of the SHLAA sites which are considered to be of strategic importance will also be completed as part of the Core Strategies currently being prepared. 

The local authorities have published the SHLAA to coincide with the publication of their Core Strategy Options. The SHLAA was endorsed by the LHP, subject to minor amendments, on 25 May 2010.

The report is available in the related documents section.