Land Availability Assessment
All councils must carry out a Land Availability Assessment (LAA) at least once every five years, as required by the Government's National Planning Policy Framework.
What is a Land Availability Assessment (LAA)?
A Land Availability Assessment (LAA) involves looking for and then assessing land and sites to see if they have the potential to meet needs through development within the borough. This includes assessing the potential of sites for different land uses, such as housing development, employment development, Traveller accommodation, nature enhancement or renewable energy.
We look for these sites from within a range of sources including planning applications, brownfield land register sites, council-owned land and sites sent to us in our Call for Sites.
Following assessment, sites which have potential can then be further considered through the process of preparing a Local Plan, and some may eventually be designated for development following the examination in public of a new Local Plan and its subsequent adoption by the council.
You can also find guidance on Land Availability Assessments on the Government website.
What a Land Availability Assessment (LAA) is not
A Land Availability Assessment and its list of sites does not grant planning permission nor designate land for development. A Land Availability Assessment (LAA) is not a policy-making document, and it does not decide where new development will take place. Conclusions in an LAA on a site’s suitability for any specific land use does not automatically grant nor refuse planning permission and does not mean that permission will be refused or granted. It also does not determine whether a site will be allocated in a Local Plan.
The assessment of sites as part of a Land Availability Assessment (LAA) is not open for public involvement. However, when reviewing or preparing the next Local Plan, opportunities for public engagement on sites will be available. Furthermore, the council would publish its method of assessing sites and the results of an LAA, including details of individual sites and conclusions on their availability, suitability and achievability.
The current Land Availability Assessment (LAA)
The council started its current LAA by carrying out a Call for Sites in 2022, asking publicly for suggestions for sites and land uses. The stages of the LAA, explained on the Government website, are as follows:
We are currently at stage one of the current LAA. Information on what was submitted in the Call for Sites has been published and can be viewed on the Call for Sites page. An initial assessment of sites suitability will be carried out using a revised methodology for stage 1 of LAA, to filter out any sites with fundamental constraints. The aim is then to carry out the further stages of the LAA and publish the results by the end of summer 2024 as part of the Local Plan Review.
Current LAA Methodology
The revised methodology for stage 1 of LAA is below.
Previous Land Availability Assessment (LAA)
The previous LAA (2018) methodology is split into separate stages.
Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA)
As part of a more detailed assessment of sites, HIAs were carried out for sites screened as having potential heritage issues. Sites which were categorised as either amber or red in the LAA, or were identified by Derbyshire County Council through their consultation on a sample of sites, were to be subject to a detailed HIA. The method of the HIA and also a pre-form for assessment were agreed with Historic England.
The intention is for the land availability assessment to include a database that allows regular editing and updating when further information or evidence becomes available.
For further queries regarding the Land Availability Assessment, please email email@example.com.