What is an evidence base?

An evidence base is a collection of information we use to understand the area where we live and work. This includes such studies on issues including housing, employment and the environment.

It also includes programmes and strategies developed by the council, its partners and other key organisations with an interest in North West Leicestershire.

The studies, strategies, programmes and statistics that make up the evidence base are crucial to producing a robust Local Plan.

What makes up the new Local Plan evidence base?

A number of studies that were undertaken to aid the preparation of the current Local Plan are still relevant to the new Local Plan.  These can be found on our Adopted Local Plan Evidence documents.

We have now started producing additional/new evidence specifically for the new Local Plan.  These will appear below as they progress.

Development Strategy

We have developed a number of options for how much housing development might need to be provided for and how this might then be distributed across the district. To help inform a decisions on these matters we have commissioned a Sustainability Appraisal of the Housing Spatial Options (September 2022). Similarly we have developed a number of options for how employment land might then be distributed across the district which have been tested through a Employment Options Interim Sustainability Appraisal (September 2022)

Site Assessments – this is our evaluation of potential housing and employment sites for the new Local Plan, including the process we have followed and the outcomes of our assessment.

Sustainability Appraisal - Read about our ongoing progress on producing a Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating a health impact assessment and equalities impact assessment) of the emerging Local Plan review.

The Leicester and Leicestershire authorities jointly commissioned updated evidence regarding the overall need for housing and the type and mix of housing needed together with an assessment of the quantity and type of employment land needed.  This Housing and Economic Needs Assessment is intended to inform local and strategic plans and to support a co-ordinated approach across Leicester and Leicestershire. Housing & Economic Needs Assessment (June 2022)

There is more information about the joint working between the authorities on the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Growth Plan website. 

A Settlement Study of the district has been undertaken to inform the review of the current Settlement Hierarchy. The Settlement Hierarchy is used to guide the location of future development. More details regarding the methodology, including the overall scoring, are set out in the Settlement Study 2021 (PDF Document, 0.85 Mb) and the Settlement Study 2021 Appendix B (PDF Document, 51.6 Mb).

Implications of East Midlands Freeport on Housing Need in North West Leicestershire - this report considers whether the jobs growth linked to the Freeport has implications for housing need in the district.


Local Housing Needs Assessment - Report 1 (PDF Document, 0.26 Mb) - This report is the first of three that will be provided and deals with the overall level of housing need in the District.

Local Housing Needs Assessment - Report 2 (PDF Document, 1.4 Mb) This is the second report that considers the profile of the population and housing (including looking at a smaller area (i.e. below District level)).

Local Housing Needs Assessment - Report 3 (PDF Document, 1.07 Mb) This is the third report which considers in more detail the needs of specific groups - including consideration of affordable housing need and the needs of older and disabled persons.

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (2022) has been undertaken to identify what the current and future need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation is likely to be.


Review of Existing Employment Sites (PDF Document, 5.68 Mb) - A review of existing active employment sites and sites under construction in the district, completed in January 2019.

Need for Employment Land Report (PDF Document, 1.95 Mb) - an assessment of future employment land requirements in the district, completed in November 2020.

Start up Workspace Demand Report (PDF Document, 0.67 Mb) - an analysis of the demand for start up business premises in the district, completed in December 2020. 

Strategic Distribution Study prepared for the Leicester and Leicestershire authorities and completed in April 2021 is the latest of a series of studies into this sector. 

Transport, Infrastructure and Delivery

Potential Strategic Sites Infrastructure Study (PDF Document, 2.35 Mb) - This study sets out the infrastructure implications of six potential strategic development sites focused around the 'Leicestershire International Gateway' area in the northern part of the district.

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (Part 1 - Baseline Infrastructure Capacity Report) provides a district-wide overview of baseline infrastructure capacity across six infrastructure themes – transport, education, healthcare and emergency services, green infrastructure, community facilities and utilities- and considers 28 infrastructure types. Appendix A of Part 1 of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (PDF Document, 0.24 Mb) sets out all of the potential infrastructure schemes identified within Part 1 of the report. Part 2 will be undertaken when the Council has identified its preferred housing and employment sites. This will set out the infrastructure implications of the development sites proposed for inclusion in the Local Plan in more detail, alongside further details on infrastructure costings, delivery mechanisms and prioritisation.

Town Centres, Services and Facilites

Retail and Leisure Capacity Study (PDF Document, 4.75 Mb) - An assessment of existing and future retail and leisure requirements in the district, completed in February 2019.

Retail Study Update Report (PDF Document, 0.67 Mb) - A partial review of the above study which explores the implications of recent changes including new housing, population and expenditure forecasts; potential implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and changes to the Use Classes Order.  It provides as revised quantitative and qualitative assessment of the need for new retail and leisure uses within the district, completed in November 2020.  This report should be read alongside the above 2019 Study. 

Climate Change

Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Study - February 2021 (PDF Document, 3.58 Mb) - This study provides evidence on the likely technical potential for different forms of renewable and low carbon energy in the district.

A revised Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (PDF Document, 3.87 Mb) provides an update to the previous Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) completed in 2015. It provides an overview of the planning context in relation to flood risk and development within North West Leicestershire. Due to the file size Appendices B and C (PDF Document, 16.31 Mb) are presented in a separate document.


Area of Separation Study (with Appendices 1 & 2) (PDF Document, 0.89 Mb) and Area of Separation Study (Appendix 3) (PDF Document, 9.89 Mb) - An assessment of the Area of Separation between Coalville and Whitwick, including the appropriateness of the boundary used in the adopted Local Plan. The Area of Separation Study Update (May 2022) takes account of the recent development of the Whitwick and Coalville Leisure Centre.

Landscape Sensitivity Study - Part 1 (PDF Document, 66.27 Mb) and Landscape Sensitivity Study - Part 2 (PDF Document, 72.86 Mb) - a landscape and visual sensitivity study that assesses the sensitivity, in landscape terms, of different parts of the district to new development. The study has been split into two parts due to the size of the document. 

A Landscape Sensitivity Study has been undertaken of four potential mixed use sites in the northern part of the district. The Appraisal of Sites A, B, C and D (PDF Document, 23.05 Mb) provides a strategic assessment of landscape and visual sensitivity. 

Further Landscape Sensitivity Study (PDF Document, 44.99 Mb) was undertaken in the summer of 2021 of sites which were submitted as part of SHELAA process and which were not covered by the previous studies.

The Green & Blue Infrastructure Study (June 2022) identifies and maps the existing Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) assets in the District and outline the key challenges faced by the GBI network locally.  It also identifies opportunities for enhancing and creating GBI within seven selected settlements.


Park Lane, Castle Donington - Baseline Heritage Report (April 2022) (PDF Document, 4.73 Mb) evaluates the significance of heritage assets and their sensitivity to the proposed mixed use allocation at north and south of Park Lane, Castle Donington (SHELAA Site CD10).

Park Lane, Castle Donington - Review of Baseline Heritage (November 2023) considers the heritage implications of a potential mixed used allocation for residential, employment, open space, education with associated infrastructure and landscaping at Park Lane, Castle Donington (SHELAA site CD10).

Last updated: Fri 17 May, 2024 @ 13:09