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Development Land Sought in ‘Call for Sites’

A `Call for sites’ is being issued by some UK councils which are seeking suitable development land as they look to update their Local Plans.

Responsibility for maintaining a supply of land for housing and economic development rests with local planning authorities which are required by Government to identify a future supply of suitable sites for housing, retail, commercial, recreation and leisure purposes. 

A Local Planning Authority (LPA) needs to prove it has a five-year supply of deliverable sites capable of providing a five-year allocation of housing, plus a buffer, to satisfy requirements set out in adopted strategic policies. 

A LPA can prove it has sufficient supply by reference to the local housing needs figure using the standard method in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework; by reference to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA); Housing and Economic Land Availability (HELAA), or an Authority Monitoring Report (AMR).

When a requirement for more land is anticipated, a `Call for sites’ may be issued. This process is an early stage in the system of identifying land for development. The LPA will examine the sites coming forward when drawing up a new Local Plan, which charts the future development of an area, to see if they are suitable to be allocated for development or not. 

Sites put forward may be of any size or type and they may be occupied or vacant. The `Call for sites’ message should be publicised as widely as possible to ensure that a fair opportunity is given to everyone who may have relevant land. Councils should notify parish councils, neighbourhood groups, landowners, developers and the local press and media.

Proposed sites should be submitted with the following information:

• A site location plan

• A summary of how the land fits with the development strategy to make a deliverable site 

• The suggested type of development, for instance whether the proposal is for old people’s accommodation, the private rental sector or perhaps land for self-builders

• The scale of the development 

• Any constraints to development

The LPA is obliged to assess all the proposed sites. A broad location survey will be carried out followed by a detailed survey to check information. Current information will be obtained regarding development progress on other sites in the Local Plan with planning permission. The LPA will then assess the type and scale of development needed in the future.

When sites are allocated for the new Local Plan, the LPA must carry out a public consultation process on the options available; not all allocated sites progress to inclusion in the Plan.

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