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 2037) 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 replaced 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 2037 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.

The HELAA was first published in February 2020 and was updated in December 2020. The update includes the assessment of a further six sites which were promoted to the council after the publication of the February 2020 HELAA. In addition, planning commitments data with a base date of 31 March 2020 has been used to update the assessment of capacity.

The HELAA report and appendices can be viewed below:

You can view an interactive map of the HELAA which provides summarised site assessments.

Can I submit a potential development site?

Sites can be submitted to us at any time and will be considered in future updates of the HELAA.

It should be noted that a third update to the HELAA is currently in progress and it is too late for any newly submitted sites to be considered within this. Any sites that are submitted now will be held on file and assessed in future updates. 

If you would like to submit a site, please complete the 'Call for Sites' doc icon Housing and Land Availability Assessment Site Submission Form [144kb] and return to the Planning Policy Team.

Who To Contact