As part of the update to our Local Plan, Rother District Council is required by national planning policy to undertake a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA).

The HELAA will assess the development potential of sites for housing and economic land uses (including renewable energy schemes) across the district and consider whether they are suitable, available and achievable for development over the new Local Plan period (2020-2040). The HELAA will form an important part of the evidence base for the new Rother Local Plan. It will be carried out in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (December 2023) and the national Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).

The draft HELAA (April 2024) has now been published in support of the public consultation on the draft Rother Local Plan (2020-2040) and can be viewed on the consultation webpage. The public consultation runs from 30th April to 23rd July 2024. 

The draft HELAA consists of two parts: an introductory report (part 1) and five chapters containing maps and draft assessments of all the sites that have been considered to date (part 2). The five chapters relate to five “sub-areas” within the district, as considered in the draft Rother Local Plan: Bexhill, Hastings Fringes and radial settlements, Battle and surrounding settlements, Rye and the eastern settlements cluster, and Northern Rother. 

The draft HELAA reports on the current stage of the process, as at April 2024. Officers have made significant progress in identifying and assessing sites, however, the process is ongoing and will be informed by the public consultation on the draft Local Plan and further site assessment work. 

We are continuing to accept new site submissions for assessment through the next version of the HELAA. To submit a site for consideration, please visit the Call for Sites page.

It is important to note that the HELAA does not pre-empt or prejudice any future Council decisions about any site. It is not a statement of Council policy. It does not determine whether a site should be allocated for future development, as that is the role of a Local Plan or a Neighbourhood Plan. It does not determine whether or not a site will be granted planning permission. 

As required by Planning Practice Guidance, the HELAA will be undertaken on a district-wide basis. Notwithstanding this, many towns and parishes are covered by (existing and emerging) Neighbourhood Plans, which may have involved their own “call for sites” and site assessments. The HELAA does not constrain this process in any way.

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