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. 

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).

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. Also, 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 on the GESP website.

A methodology has been prepared in partnership with some of the neighbouring authorities in the Exeter Housing Market Area and will be used for future HELAA work. This is currently being reviewed with a new version to be published shortly.

From January to March 2021 East Devon District Council undertook a call for sites, which invited members of the public to submit land they felt was suitable for housing and economic uses. 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.

You can view all of the sites that were submitted in 2017 and 2021 on the interactive map below. They are separated into the latest 2021 submitted sites, the larger 2017 GESP assessed sites and the smaller 2017 non-GESP assessed sites which have yet to be considered in a HELAA report.

Development of the 2021 HELAA, which will assess the 2021 call for sites and the Non-GESP assessed sites submitted in 2017, is currently underway and will be used to support development of the new Local Plan.

HELAA Interactive Map