Looking to develop land in the Cotswolds?

Last week saw the publication of the Cotswold District Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA for short). This comes at a critical time for the Council as it moves forward with the review of the Local Plan and the need to understand what land is available for development in the District and where that land is located.

We’ve taken a closer look at the SHELAA and what it means for developers in the Cotswolds.

The starting point is that the SHELAA assesses sites across the Principal Settlements in the District, with a site threshold of 5 dwellings. This is important because it means that the Council is not looking at small development sites; these have historically been a consistent mainstay of the District’s housing land supply.

The SHELAA undertakes an appraisal of development opportunities around the various settlements in the District, identifying proposed levels of development and issues associated with them. It goes further to identify a number of sites for “further consideration”. From this, it can be inferred that the Council is shortlisting sites to be considered to be taken forward in the Local Plan Review.

In terms of other options, the SHELAA does not consider any sites outside of the Principal Settlements for development. This is a shame, we think it misses an opportunity for the Council to present a robust position on sites which could come forward through Policy DS3 of the Local Plan (village development sites), which is a valuable source of small-scale housing development in the District’s villages.

Finally, it’s understood that the Council will be producing an on-line mapping system showing the sites in the SHELAA.

Whether it’s looking at the development of strategic land, promoting a site through the Local Plan Review or a more immediate planning application for village development, via Policy DS3, we would be happy to share our extensive knowledge of the geography and planning policy framework for the District to realise your aspirations.

Contact Nathan McLoughlin – nathan.mcloughlin@mplanning.co.uk/01242 895008 he’s happy to talk through what this could mean for you.