The Council is responsible for preparing and keeping up to date a Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) to help inform future plan making in the district. 

What is a Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to have a clear understanding of the land available for potential development in their areas. We do this through a Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (referred to as a SHELAA).

The SHELAA is effectively a ‘long list’ of potential development sites and is an essential piece of evidence which is required to support the Local Plan process.


The latest SHELAA can be viewed below:

Is this the first SHELAA?

No. We published our first SHELAA in 2018 and then updated it in 2019. Many of the sites included in the SHELAA were also included in one or both of these earlier SHELAAs. Previous versions can be found on our previous Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessments webpage.

How are sites identified?

We use a variety of sources, including sites currently being marketed for development, sites with planning permission and from a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise undertaken in 2020. As part of this ‘Call for Sites’ we invited landowners, developers and their agents to submit information to us about sites within the district that they wanted to put forward for development for either housing or employment uses.

How are sites assessed?

An assessment of each site is undertaken in accordance with the agreed Leicester and Leicestershire SHELAA Joint Methodology - 2019 (PDF Document, 1.38 Mb)

As directed by the Joint Methodology, a submitted site can only be excluded from the SHELAA if it has one of four specific constraints. These are if the site is located in:

• The Functional Floodplain (Flood Zone 3b) (as set out in the relevant Strategic Flood Risk Assessment); or

• A Scheduled Monuments (nationally important sites as listed by Historic England)

• An internationally and nationally Designated Sites of Biodiversity and Geological Interest (SSSI, SPA) as designed by Natural England or the European Commission (Where the site of biodiversity or geodiversity interest has a specific catchment area (for example a body of water), the red constraint will not apply to the whole catchment, but only to the site of biodiversity or geodiversity interest) or

• A Major Hazardous Facilities (as defined by the Health and Safety Executive)

Does inclusion of a site definitely mean it will be included in the Local Plan?


The SHELAA is a technical document. The inclusion of a site within the SHELAA does not provide any indication of the Council’s view of its acceptability for future development. 

Likewise, any inclusion of sites within the document does not necessarily mean that a site will be included in the reviewed Local Plan.

The assessment does not in itself determine whether a site should be allocated for development but is a high-level assessment used as a starting point to decide whether sites could be developed for housing, economic development or other uses in a Local Plan.

Does inclusion of a site definitely mean it will get planning permission?


Inclusion does not imply or guarantee that planning permission would be granted, now or in the future, should an application be submitted for consideration.

How will I know if a new SHELAA is being prepared?

You can either email us at and ask to be added to our consultation database or keep an eye out on this page as we will post any new updates here, including any future ‘Call for Sites’.

How will I know what the outcome from a new SHELAA is?

We report any new SHELAA to our Local Plan Committee which is responsible for overseeing the preparation of the new Local Plan.

Where can I find further information about SHELAAs?

Further information can be found in National Planning Practice Guidance

Call for Sites/Submit A Site

Our latest call for sites closed on 21 October 2020. The sites submitted will be considered for inclusion in a review of the SHELAA. 

If you have missed this deadline and wish to submit a site for consideration in a future itertation of the SHELAA, please download the form from our Submit a Site page. 

Last updated: Thu 4 May, 2023 @ 14:27