Council publishes updated strategic land assessment

An updated list of sites which have the potential for development within Swindon has just been published.

The Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment 2019 (SHELAA) is now available on Swindon Borough Council’s website and will be used to help inform the preparation of the Council’s Local Plan Review. It can also be used by parishes to help produce their own Neighbourhood Plans.

The SHELAA only identifies sites with potential for future development and does not allocate sites to be developed.

Several sites were taken out of the original SHELAA list following feedback from local residents because they would constitute major development in an Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) or would significantly impact on the urban green corridors and the quality of open space.

Local people were asked for their views on the SHELAA during a six-week consultation period at the end of last year. A total of more than 1,000 comments were made, while two petitions were also submitted to the Council.

The allocation of sites for future development will take place in the Local Plan review or in any locally produced Neighbourhood Plans.

Sites included in the SHELAA will not necessarily be granted planning permission and all applications will continue to be considered against national policies, the Council’s Development Plan and any other relevant material considerations.

Councillor Gary Sumner, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this SHELAA process as it will play an important role in shaping our draft Local Plan in the summer.

“We listened to what local residents had to say and removed those sites where we felt potential development would have an adverse impact on green open spaces, green corridors and the AONB.

“Even though sites have been identified as part of the SHELAA, it does not mean the Council will grant planning permission for development on those sites as other planning and environmental policy considerations will also be taken into account.”

Members of the public can view the updated SHELAA list at: www.swindon.gov.uk/shelaa.

Any comments on the SHELAA will be considered in the draft Local Plan which is anticipated will go out to consultation in the summer.