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 HELAAs is included in Planning Practice 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.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) prepared Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs) - the predecessor to HELAAs - 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 as part of a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) that is available as part of the GESP evidence.

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. 

EDDC undertook a call for sites, which invited members of the public to submit land they felt was suitable for housing and economic uses, in 2021 and again in 2022. 

You can view all of the sites that were submitted in 2017, 2021 and 2022 on the interactive map below. They are separated into the latest sites, submitted in 2022, 2021, the larger 2017 GESP assessed sites and the smaller 2017 non-GESP assessed sites.

Finally, the map also features sites consulted on in the 2022-23 Draft Local Plan Consultation and new sites to be consulted on in the forthcoming Draft Local Plan Further Consultation in May 2024.

HELAA Interactive Map

View HELAA Interactive Map map in full screen - best for mobile devices