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Cabinet Decision: 21st July 2008
Title of Item/Report
Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report relating to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

It was explained that the SHLAA was a technical exercise to support the development of housing policies in the Local Development Framework (LDF). In particular, it informed the Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) and the Regeneration DPD. To support the new policy approach to housing, the PPS3 “daughter document” Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments: Practice Guidance required a new approach to assessing housing land availability. The fundamental aim of a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) was to identify the capacity of a district to accommodate new housing development over the plan period.

The SHLAA exercise had involved the production of report setting out the methodology and the assessment findings together with associated appendices. It was important to consult publicly on this document and it was considered that there were exceptional circumstances that warrant authorization to do so being conferred by Cabinet. It was noted that public consultation was proposed the three-week period Monday 28th July to Friday 15th August 2008.

Members of Cabinet were provided with a copy of the draft Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment document.


1. The report be noted.
2. The draft Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment be endorsed for public consultation for the three-week period Monday 28th July to Friday 15th August 2008
3. The making of minor changes to the report of an editorial nature be delegated to officers.
4. The proposal of the Corporate Director, Development and Neighbourhood Services, to take a decision to approve the draft SHLAA for public consultation for the three-week period Monday 28th July to Friday 15th August 2008, be endorsed.
5. The making of any changes to the report that may be considered necessary in the light of the public consultation be delegated to officers.
Reasons for the Decision
The national guidance for the production of a SHLAA emphasises the need for a partnership approach. A Steering Group has guided the Stockton SHLAA. Membership has included representatives from the Home Builders Federation, Registered Social Landlords and a local estate agent. The draft final summary document has now been produced with the draft schedule of sites without planning permission (showing tables with the criteria based assessment) appended to it. It is considered that, in order to ensure the approach to production of the SHLAA is robust, it is essential that the document is the subject of public consultation. It is proposed, therefore, to make the document available on the Council’s website for a period of three weeks, with comments invited, and to distribute copies of the document to public libraries also with an invitation to comment.

The timing of this consultation period is very important. The draft Core Strategy submission document is due to be published for public consultation in September 2008 and formal comments invited. It is important that the public consultation on the draft SHLAA Report precedes this for three reasons. Firstly, to avoid the public confusion that could be caused by overlapping the consultation exercises. Secondly, to finalise the SHLAA before the Core Strategy is consulted on. Thirdly, to avoid delaying production of the final SHLAA report. It is recognized that normal procedure is for Full Council to authorize public consultation on documents associated with the Local Development Framework. However, the next meeting of Full Council is not scheduled until 3rd September 2008. In view of this, and given the reasons provided above, the Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services, in the interests of the Council and the public, proposes to take a decision under urgency provisions, in consultation with the Mayor to approve the draft SHLAA for public consultation for the period 28th July to 15th August.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Tuesday 29th July 2008

Date of Publication: 23 July 2008

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