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Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to have a clear understanding of the land available for development in their area by preparing a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). This is a technical document that helps to identify a supply of potentially suitable sites for housing and is used to inform planning policies. 

Inclusion of a site in the HELAA does not indicate that a site will be granted planning permission or allocated for development.

We prepared SHLAA assessments in 2012, 2011 and 2010 as part of the preparation of the Local Plan.  Further documents that supported these assessments are included in our SHLAA archives. 

A methodology has been prepared in partnership with the neighbouring authorities in the Exeter Housing Market Area and will be used for future HELAA work.

No East Devon specific work on housing availability has been undertaken since 2012 because the local plan was undergoing examination and was adopted in 2016. 

However, as part of the preparation of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) there was a call for sites in 2017 and the larger strategic sites were considered by the GESP team as part of a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) that has now been published.

You can view all of the sites that were submitted in 2017 on the interactive map below. They are separated into the larger GESP assessed sites and the smaller non-GESP assessed sites which have yet to be considered in a HELAA report.

HELAA Interactive Map

Further assessment work will be undertaken on the Non-GESP assessed sites submitted in 2017 as part of the upcoming review of the Local Plan. In addition, there is now an opportunity to submit additional sites for consideration in the new East Devon Local Plan.

However, as part of the preparation of a Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP) there was a call for sites in 2017. 

Further guidance on the purpose and preparation of Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessments (HELAAs) is included in the National Planning Guidance

This states the assessment of land availability is an important step in the preparation of local plans and should identify a future supply of land which is suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic development uses over the plan period.  An assessment should:

  • identify sites and broad locations with potential for development.
  • assess their development potential
  • assess their suitability for development and the likelihood of development coming forward (the availability and achievability).