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Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

Creating a major increase in the supply of new homes is one of the Government's top priorities. To achieve this, all local planning authorities are required to undertake a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). The intention is that each authority should be able to demonstrate that they have a 5, 10 and 15 year supply of land to meet the community's need for more homes.

Who prepares a SHLAA?

The county council has been working in partnership with all of the Dorset district councils and with Bournemouth and Poole councils to undertake these studies.  Assessments have been made for the two Housing Market Areas (HMAs) in Dorset: the Weymouth and Dorchester HMA, comprising the combined area of West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland; and the Bournemouth and Poole HMA, comprising Bournemouth, Christchurch, North Dorset, East Dorset, Poole and Purbeck.

How is the study done?

The way in which SHLAAs have to be undertaken is largely set by the Government but there is some scope for local refinement. Government guidance stresses the importance of a partnership approach, with local authorities needing to work closely with stakeholders, such as house builders, landowners, social landlords, property agents, local communities and others. A panel has been set up for each of the two HMA areas, made up of representatives from these groups. Their role has been to agree the methodology for undertaking the studies and then to steer the work through to conclusion.

Where will the land for new housing come from?

The purpose of the SHLAA is to identify new housing sites that have a good chance of development.

One of the main sources of new housing will be those sites that already have planning permission or are allocated for housing in a plan. In addition, landowners, agents and house-builders, public and private bodies and members of the public are invited to suggest other sites. It must be stressed that only land in the more sustainable locations will be acceptable.

For further information please visit the web pages for the Borough of Poole, which is hosting information for the Bournemouth and Poole HMA, or the page for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, which is hosting for the Weymouth and Dorchester HMA. Alternatively, visit the individual local authority web pages the links are under 'Related Links' to the right of this page, and 'See also' at the bottom left of this page.

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