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June 27, 2024

Every council in England should have a local development plan that sets out how much new development is needed over the following 10 to 15 years, and where it should be located. In preparing that plan, the council will need to allocate specific sites to help meet their development needs – and that often means identifying sites they wouldn’t otherwise consider suitable, like fields on the edge of towns and villages. To make those decisions, the council’s planning team need to know how much land is available for development – which is where the Call for Sites process comes in.

The Call for Sites provides an opportunity for landowners to submit details of sites they think could be suitable for development, which will then be assessed in more detail by the council’s planning team. In most cases, landowners will be asked to provide a plan showing the location of their site, and to complete a form with further information. The questions on the form will cover issues like what type and how much development the landowner considers their site could be suitable for. It will also ask about potential constraints on development, like the road network, ecological designations or the location of services and facilities.

All of that information is assessed by the planning team, who will reach a conclusion as to the site’s suitability for development. The results of those assessments are made publicly available in a document usually called a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment or SHLAA for short. This forms a “long list” of sites, which councils draw from when choosing which sites to specifically earmark for new homes in their local plan.

It is therefore important that landowners participate in the Call for Sites process and make their submission as robust as possible. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be to show your site really is suitable for development. If the council decide it isn’t, it can be difficult to get them to change their view later in the process.

As a result, Call for Sites submissions prepared by The Strategic Land Group go beyond the minimum level of information required by the Call for Sites form. We normally prepare a Development Statement considering a range of technical issues – from landscape impacts to traffic, ecology to drainage, heritage to air quality - and summarising the site’s development credentials. An illustrative masterplan will show how the site could be developed taking into account everything we know about it, and proving it can accommodate the number of homes we are proposing. Our aim is to make it really clear to the council that the site is genuinely suitable for development and - if they choose to allocate it for new homes in their local plan - the development will actually take place.

This doesn’t guarantee that the council will choose your site, but by presenting it in the best possible light, it does give you the best chance.

We’ve been working with landowners across the country to secure planning permission for new homes on their land for more than 15 years. As well as preparing Call for Sites submissions, we deal with the whole local plan process, the eventual planning application and even find a buyer for your land once that planning permission is in place. We do that work entirely at our cost and risk – we only charge a fee when the site is sold to a developer. So if we don’t succeed, it won’t cost you anything.

If you think your site could be suitable for new development, get in touch today to find out how we could help.

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