West Berkshire Council

Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)

Identifying potential land for housing and economic development in West Berkshire

All local planning authorities are required by national planning policy and guidance to maintain an up-to-date picture of the amount of land that is available for new development, including land for housing and economic development. This process is known as the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

The HELAA will help in the preparation of the review of the Local Plan (to cover the period to 2036) by identifying potential sites for new homes, employment and other land uses. It will show which sites are being promoted for development at a particular time and and will be updated regularly. The HELAA will replace the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment which identified potential sites for new homes as part of the Local Plan (2006-26). 

pdf icon methodology [612kb] has been agreed with other Berkshire authorities to help achieve a common approach.

The HELAA is a technical assessment, not a policy-making document. It will not make recommendations on which sites should be developed but will make a preliminary assessment of their suitability and potential. The information we gather from this process will help inform the West Berkshire Local Plan Review to 2036 which will allocate sites for housing and economic development to cover the period up to 2036.

It is important to note that whilst the HELAA will identify potential sites, it will not allocate them for development or add weight to the site for the purpose of decision making on a planning application.  The allocation of future sites for development will only take place through statutory plan processes (eg Local Plan, Neighbourhood Development Plans) which undergo public consultation and independent examination.

We anticipate publishing our assessments of sites that have been submitted to us as part of the HELAA in the summer of 2019.

Can I submit a potential development site?

Between 23 December 2016 and 31 March 2017, we invited landowners, developers and others to submit potential development sites for us to consider as part of the HELAA under a 'call for sites'. We continued to accept sites for consideration for a further year.  More than 200 sites have been submitted and we are now undertaking technical assessments of them.

If you are promoting a site that has not yet been formally submitted to us and you would like such a site to be considered in the review of the Local Plan, then please download and complete the 'Call for Sites' doc icon Housing and Land Availability Assessment Site Submission Form [144kb] and submit it to us by 4:30pm on Friday 21 December 2018.  Please note that if your site is submitted after this date, it will not be assessed as part of the LPR consultation in the summer of 2019.

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