The Local Plan is still being reviewed. However, owing to the passing of time since some of our evidence documents were produced, we would like to update some of our key datasets to ensure that our plan is based on the most reliable evidence.
A key piece of evidence is the Land Availability Assessment (LAA), which identifies future sources of land for development. To inform the LAA the Council must undertake a ‘call for sites’ exercise, giving land and property owners the opportunity to tell the Council about sites which they feel have the potential for development. The last call for sites was conducted in 2017 and whilst we received a good response, we are aware that the circumstances regarding the availability of sites may have changed since.
As such, the Council will welcome details of sites which can be promoted for development for the following:
- Housing (e.g. market housing, affordable housing, older persons accommodation and Gypsy and Traveller accommodation);
- Redevelopment of sites, particularly within our existing built-up areas;
- Employment (e.g. offices, light industrial, industrial and warehousing);
- Retail (e.g. convenience retail, supermarkets, shopping centres and retail parks);
- Social Infrastructure (e.g. schools, health facilities, community facilities);
- Open space (e.g. local greenspace, accessible natural greenspace, land for biodiversity net gain, sports pitches, playing fields, parks or gardens); and
- Mix of above uses.
The Council’s call for sites is now open for a six-week period and will close at 11.59pm on Sunday 27th March 2022.
Please use a separate form for each site you wish to be considered.
Information gathered during this period will allow the Council to consider promoted sites in relation to their suitability, availability and achievability for development in the context of planning policy, environmental constraints and the extent to which these can be mitigated or addressed.
It is important to note that the identification of a site within the LAA does not automatically mean the site will be allocated for development in the Local Plan. This is because the LAA is a technical assessment to ascertain what options are available to the Council when considering allocating sites suitable for development in the Local Plan.
Please note, that if you have submitted a site as part of a previous call for sites exercise you will need to resubmit your site again.
We will require land registry information to be submitted for each site. If you are an agent promoting land on behalf of an owner, we will also require the land owner to submit a letter confirming that they agree to the site being promoted through the LAA process.
Further information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions below or by contacting a member of the Planning Policy team on 01372 732000 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions on the LAA and the Call for Sites
Why are we undertaking a call for sites now?
We are undertaking this exercise to understand what land is potentially available for development in the Borough. Whilst we conducted a similar exercise in 2017, some information that we would have received is now out of date. There have also been some significant changes in the Borough for a variety of reasons, including the Covid-19 Pandemic, which may have impacted on the ability of landowners to promote their land.
Is there a minimum and maximum site size that can be submitted?
Sites should be capable of delivering 5 or more dwellings, or economic development sites of 0.25 hectares (or 500 square metres of floor space) and above.
There are several potential development options for my site – how can I provide this information?
Please complete the question ‘is the site suitable for a mix of uses’ in the form/e-form. Please provide as much information as possible in response to this question by providing detail of the potential development options and attach any additional information that you consider will be useful.
What will happen once I have submitted my site?
Sites submitted to the Council meeting the minimum size requirements will be included within the Council’s Land Availability Assessment (LAA). The LAA will:
- identify land with potential for development for housing, employment and other uses uses;
- assess the land's potential capacity; and
- assess when a site is likely to be developed.
Where appropriate, sites submitted to the Council will also be considered for inclusion in the next update of the Brownfield Land Register.
What is the Brownfield Land Register?
Local planning authorities are required to prepare and publish a Brownfield Land Register. The Register provides details of previously developed sites that are considered suitable for residential development.
‘Brownfield Land' (previously developed land) is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2012) as:
"Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.
This excludes land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill purposes where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures; land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously-developed, but where the remains of the permanent structure have blended into the landscape in the process of time."
further information on the brownfield register can be found here:
What does it mean if a site is included in the LAA?
The LAA is a technical exercise aimed at identifying potential sites for development. The inclusion of land in the LAA does not guarantee that the Council will grant planning permission for development or allocate the land for development in the Local Plan. All planning applications must, and will continue to be, determined against the development plan and material planning considerations.
I have previously submitted a site in Epsom and Ewell through a call for sites – do I need to resubmit my site?
Yes, the Land Availability Assessment (LAA) is a completely new approach to determine land availability for all types of land uses being planned for in the Local Plan Review. The LAA will replace the previous and will consider all land across the Borough.
Why do I need to provide land registry information?
A core component of the LAA is assessing the availability of land. Submitting requiring Land Registry information will provide proof of ownership should the availability of the site need to be confirmed.
If you are an agent promoting land on behalf of a landowner, the landowner will need to submit a formal letter confirming that they agree to the site being promoted through the LAA process.
How long do I have to submit my site(s)?
The Council’s call for sites is open for a six-week period until 25 March 2022. A closing date has been set to enable officers to determine what sites are available for development at a given point in time so that the draft Local Plan can be prepared in accordance with the timetable (Local Development Scheme).
I have further questions about the LAA / call for sites – who can I speak to?
If you would like to discuss the call for sites process, the emerging LAA or Brownfield Land Register, please contact Planning Policy on 01372 732000.