Background Documents

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: What does the SHLAA do?

Answer: The SHLAA is a technical exercise that informs the preparation of the Island Planning Strategy. It does not allocate land for development, but examines the extent to which possible sites, including those suggested by developers, landowners and other parties are suitable, available and achievable for development over a given timeframe.
It has the following objectives:
• To inform the Council’s strategy for the provision of housing for the Island through its Island Planning Strategy.
• Identify sites with the potential for housing and assess their potential in terms of suitability, availability and deliverability.
• To inform council on potential allocations to include in the Island Planning Strategy.
• To inform the plan, monitor, manage approach to the provision of housing land and provide sufficient detail to demonstrate the Council’s assessment of a five year supply of deliverable land is available for housing as required by the National Planning Policy Framework.


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Question: Where do all the SHLAA sites come from?

Answer: The sites have been put forward to the Council over a period of time by a range of different people and organisations, including landowners and developers. The sites assessed through the SHLAA include:
• Existing housing allocations
• Land allocated or with permission for other uses which may no longer be required for those uses
• Sites with an unimplemented planning permission
• Vacant and derelict land and buildings
• Surplus public sector land
• Land in non-residential use which may be suitable for redevelopment for housing
• Additional housing opportunities in established residential areas
• Sites in rural settlements and rural exception sites (small housing schemes outside village boundaries, or on land inside village boundaries that would normally be protected from development, where such a development is providing housing to meet an identified local need)
• Urban extensions
• Sites suggested by third parties


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Question: Can any site be assessed through the SHLAA?

Answer: For a site to be included within the SHLAA, it must have the capacity to deliver 5 dwellings. The size and capacity of a SHLAA site also takes into account flood zones and proximity to certain environmental designations (see Section 2 of the SHLAA).

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Question: What happens to the site once it is assessed through the SHLAA?

Answer: As it has been assessed through the SHLAA, the Council is aware that the site has been suggested for development and has undertaken an initial assessment of it. Should the need arise, appropriate sites will then be considered for allocations in future planning documents.
Site owners could also apply for planning permission to develop their site, and any application will be subject to the Council’s adopted planning policies.


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Question: Does a site assessed through the SHLAA automatically get planning permission?

Answer: No. Any site assessed through the SHLAA would still need to apply through the usual processes for planning permission for development to occur, no matter how the SHLAA has assessed the site.

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Question: Why is the Council allocating so many housing sites in the SHLAA?

Answer: It isn’t. The sites assessed through the SHLAA are not allocations, although they could become allocations in future planning documents. If any sites are allocated in the future, they will be subject to extensive public consultation and a public examination by an independent planning inspector.

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Question: Is the SHLAA updated on a regular basis?

Answer: Yes. The Council will update the SHLAA as required to ensure it has an up-to-date understanding of land availability.

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Question: What can I do if I believe the SHLAA assessment of a site to be incorrect?

Answer: Please write or email the Planning Policy Team, using the contact details below, setting out why you believe the SHLAA assessment of a site is incorrect. This will then be investigated by the Planning Policy Team and, if required, the SHLAA will be updated accordingly for the next publication.

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Question: Where can I see a copy of the SHLAA?

Answer: The most up-to-date copy of the SHLAA is available on the Council’s website.
For further information on the SHLAA or other planning policy issues please visit our website - Related Link

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Question: What does SHLAA mean?

Answer: SHLAA stands for Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

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Question: Why does the Council need to prepare the SHLAA?

Answer: The Island Plan Core Strategy (including Waste and Minerals) and Development Management Development Plan Document, was adopted in March 2012.
The Isle of Wight Council is now proposing to replace the Island Plan Core Strategy, the proposed Area Action Plans and the proposed Rural Area Plan with a single Island Planning Strategy. This strategy will be a key document in the delivery of the council’s Regeneration Programme and Strategy.
In order to inform these documents, the council needs to refresh and undertake an updated SHLAA in line with National Planning Practice Guidance.


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Question: How do I put a site forward to be assessed through the SHLAA?

Answer: Please complete a Call for Sites form, which can be downloaded from the Council’s SHLAA web page or can be requested in writing or by telephone using the contact details below. - Related Link

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