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Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment - Christchurch

A Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) is a technical study which assesses the theoretical potential of sites in the borough to accommodate future housing development.

All local planning authorities are required to conduct a SHLAA under national policy. The Christchurch SHLAA data base and mapping is updated annually although we have not published a full report since 2017. The 2019 Christchurch Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment identifies the potential housing land supply for (the former Christchurch Borough Council area) for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2034.

Any mapped boundaries provided in association with this SHLAA are for the purposes of the SHLAA only and have no other planning status. The SHLAA is only a technical assessment that does not allocate land for development but simply identifies land that might theoretically be developed for housing.

The sites assessed in the 2019 SHLAA update can be seen on the 2019 SHLAA interactive map. This shows all the assessed sites in Christchurch and shows whether they have been included in the housing supply or excluded and their theoretical housing potential.

Christchurch SHLAA Report 2017

Whilst the sites and supply figures in the 2017 report are now superseded, the 2017 SHLAA report sets out the methodology which explains how sites have been identified and assessed. The 2019 assessment uses the same methodology and assumptions.

Assessment of housing potential for Christchurch

Previously, housing land has been assessed for the Christchurch and East Dorset Core Strategy plan area as a whole in line with the housing projection set out in Policy KS4 of the adopted Core Strategy (April 2014).

However, following local government reorganisation in 2019, Christchurch now falls within BCP Council and East Dorset falls within Dorset Council. Furthermore, the Christchurch and East Dorset Core Strategy is now more than 5 years old, and national guidance indicates that in such cases the local housing need should be calculated using the standard methodology where data is available. Pending adoption of the new BCP Local Plan currently being prepared, housing supply will be calculated separately for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

The Christchurch housing supply identified in the 2019 Christchurch SHLAA should therefore be considered against the housing requirements for Christchurch using the standard methodology. The standard methodology identifies a housing requirement for Christchurch of 3,490 for the Core Strategy plan period 2019-2028 (including a 20% buffer for years 1-5). The Christchurch SHLAA identifies land for 3845 dwellings (including strategic sites) for the period 2019-2034. For the Core Strategy plan period to 2019-2028 the supply is 2,914 (based on the strategic sites trajectory and remaining SHLAA figures annualised, and years 2028-34 deducted). This amounts to a deficit of 576 dwellings over the plan period.

Christchurch’s Five Year Supply Statement is informed by this 2019 SHLAA update. For the five year period 2019-2024 the SHLAA (including local plan allocations)  identified sufficient land for 1668 dwellings against a requirement of 2,094 (including a 20% buffer). This amounts to shortfall of 426 dwellings and a supply of 3.98 years. The five year supply figures and explanation can be seen in the 5 year Housing Land Supply for Christchurch 2019-2024 report.

As well as reviewing performance against housing delivery targets, the SHLAA also forms part of the robust evidence base which will inform the emerging BCP Local Plan.

Submitting new sites for assessment

We are happy to receive new sites at any time for consideration in future updates of the assessment, which may make a contribution to the overall housing land supply. These will feed in to the next available annual review of the SHLAA. Please complete a SHLAA site form and return it to Planning Policy.

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