Agenda item

Breckland Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Review 2011 (Agenda item 10)

Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development.



The Principal Planning Policy Officer presented the report which advised Members of the outcome of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Review 2011 and the implications of the use of the study as evidence to support future forward planning and development decisions.


Breckland Council produced its first SHLAA in 2008 and had been updated to reflect changing housing market conditions since the initial study and to take account of changes in National Policy since 2008.


The initial SHLAA had been developed with input provided by a Steering Group comprising of Officers of the Council and local and regional representatives from the development industry.  The Steering Group had confirmed that the methodology used to produce the document remained robust and was suitable for use in 2011; albeit with some minor amendments.  These amendments reflected the Coalition Government’s recent abolition of the national indicative minimum housing density, therefore, the housing density multipliers for 2011 had been slightly reduced and had also reflected the recent changes in demand from consumers.


The outputs of the study, in terms of potential supply coming forward, were highlighted.  The Principal Planning Policy Officer stressed that this document was very much a hypothetical exercise and was policy neutral and that these were the maximums of housing levels that could be delivered to inform strategies going forward.  It provided the Council with an indication of what was plausible and was stating that it had enough housing land.


In terms of the implications for the Council’s five year supply of housing land, it was considered that only a total of six brownfield sites that had been identified in the SHLAA could be included.  These six sites could yield a total capacity of 243 dwellings. 


In terms of viability, the model indicated that the Greenfield Urban extensions typologies covering Attleborough and Thetford might not be viable at the present time as the residual land value was below the expected minimum sales level.


In concluding his report, the Principal Planning Policy Officer stressed that the SHLAA was a computer generated hypothetical housing land supply technical exercise and it was important to remember that its findings did not themselves determine whether or not a site should be allocated for development through the LDF or granted planning permission for housing.  Land would be allocated for development through the plan making process and would be subject to significant public consultation.  Applications for planning permissions would still have to be determined by the Council based upon their own individual merits and having taken into account the Policies of the Development Plan and all other material considerations. 


The Executive Member for Internal Services represented one of the Wards classed as a Service Centre and had been asked, in the past, if he would support development in the village for no more than 50 homes. He asked for Officers views on development as this figure had now increased and although he was not adverse to development the Parish Council had carried out a survey where it was found that only six dwellings was preferred.


The Principal Planning Policy Officer explained that Great Ellingham had been identified as a Local Service Centre and the feeling from the community had been to keep things as they were but there was theoretically, capacity – scope for up to 150 houses but this was without any Breckland policies being applied.


The Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development referred to the map of Great Ellingham on page 118 of the report and pointed out that the land highlighted in red and green was land that had been included in the Local Plan right from the start.  He explained that the areas in green were classed as deliverable and the sites in red would only be considered if Breckland policies ever changed.


Mr Cowen stated that he would like to see growth in Shropham and asked why this village had not been included on the list.  He said that residents would be confused if they had sight of this document as they were well aware of two sites in the village that had been passed for development.  These points needed to be clarified particularly when the Council’s Core Strategy stated that villages in Breckland would have to accommodate 3,000 new homes.


The Chairman agreed that this document, as it stood, would almost certainly cause consternation and perhaps mislead residents and he therefore asked Officers to be careful and make it clear that the SHLAA was only a computer generated document that would help residents to balance their communities in going forward with any new Planning Policy Framework.


The Vice-Chairman concurred with the above comments and knew that the residents of Attleborough would take great comfort from them.




Option A


Members endorsed the SHLAA Review 2011 for use as evidence to support the production of LDF documents and planning applications (where relevant).


Option B


Not to agree to endorse the SHLAA Review 2011




To endorse Option A of the report would allow the use of the latest SHLAA information to inform plan making and development control decisions where relevant.


RESOLVED that the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) Review 2011 be used as evidence to support the production of Local Development Framework (LDF) documents and planning applications.

Supporting documents: