Call For Sites

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Call for Sites?

The Call for Sites is an opportunity for landowners, developers, agents, and site promoters to submit sites, within or partially within Harborough District, which are considered to have potential for development. Sites received through the Call for Sites will be assessed through Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) and ultimately help the Council in understanding what land is potentially available for development.

The Call for Sites is not a consultation but rather an information gathering exercise. Neither the Call for Sites nor the SHELAA will determine whether a site should be given planning permission or allocated for development. However, together they will help to identify a pool of sites which have development potential for a range of land uses.

Why is a Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment needed?

National planning policy and accompanying guidance requires the Council to have a clear and up-to-date understanding of land across the District that has development potential. With the Local Plan in place, it is now an appropriate time to prepare a new Land Availability Assessment to replace the one prepared in 2016.

Do previously assessed or submitted sites need to be resubmitted?

Yes. All sites previously submitted to the Council, including those included in the 2016 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and the 2017 Strategic Employment Land Availability Assessment, need to be resubmitted through the Call for Sites using the online submission form. This will ensure that we have up to date and consistent baseline information for all sites as we move into the SHELAA assessment.

How do I submit a site?

Sites must be submitted using the online Call for Sites Submission Form via Harborough District Council’s Strategic Planning Consultation Portal. There is accompanying guidance setting out what information is needed and how to complete the online form.

A new form will need to be completed for each site submission. It is important that a map clearly showing the site boundary plotted on the map within the online form or uploaded as an attachment. Where appropriate, additional relevant supporting information can be attached to the online submission form. However, this should be kept to a minimum. A user guide for the mapping tool is available to read on screen here, or as a PDF download here.

Once submitted successfully, an acknowledgement email will be sent to say that we have received the site submission.

When is the call for sites open?

The Call for Sites runs from 26 March  to 4 June 2021.

Are there any size thresholds or requirements which sites must meet?

All sites must be wholly or partially within Harborough District. We are only interested in sites or broad locations for development which meet the following thresholds:

  • Housing: Capable of accommodating at least 5 new homes
  • Economic development (e.g. employment or retail): Minimum of 0.25 ha (or capable of accommodating 500 sqm of floorspace)

There is no maximum size of site. However, land parcels which adjoin or overlap need not be submitted - please only submit the full extent of each site for assessment. We encourage those submitting large, strategic scale sites to work collaboratively with adjoining landowners/promoters, where appropriate, to ensure that a coordinated and comprehensive approach is taken in establishing their development potential.

Sites can be greenfield or previously developed (brownfield) land.

For what uses can I submit sites?

The Council is encouraging the submission of sites for a range of uses including:

  • New settlement/garden village
  • Strategic development area/urban extension
  • Mixed use development
  • Housing including:
    • General housing
    • Specialist housing for older people
    • Affordable housing only (e.g. rural exception sites)
    • Build to rent
    • Self-build and custom housebuilding
    • Gypsy and Traveller and travelling showpeople accommodation
  • Employment including:
    • Office
    • Industrial
    • Non-strategic warehousing
    • Large warehousing (i.e. strategic distribution)
  • Retail
  • Leisure, recreation and community facilities

Who can submit a site?

Sites can be put forward by individuals or organisations, although typically they are promoted by landowners, developers, agents, local businesses, and groups.

As part of the SHELAA, we are required to assess whether sites can be delivered. It is therefore important that submissions make clear that the land is owned by or under the control of the person making the submission, or they genuinely have the means to acquire the land.

What information do I need to provide?

It is important that you fill in the Call for Sites form with as much detail as possible and submit a plan that clearly shows the site boundary. The level of information required to aid the assessment of the site will depend on the size and complexity of the site, but the following information is likely to be required:

  • Proposed use or mix of uses
  • Land budget including capacity
  • Access to the transport network
  • Environmental constraints
  • New infrastructure requirements
  • Timetable for delivery

What happens to a site once it is submitted?

Where a site meets the minimum capacity or size threshold, it will be assessed as part of the Council’s Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA). This assessment will:

  • identify the site’s potential for development for housing, employment or other uses;
  • assess the site’s potential capacity (i.e. number of houses, amount of employment land that could be accommodated); and
  • assess when and whether the site is likely to be developed (based on its suitability, availability, and achievability).

Site assessment will be in line with the SHELAA Joint Methodology Paper 2019 which was prepared by the Leicester and Leicestershire local authorities to ensure a consistent approach across the county. Further details about assessment process are available in the Planning Practice Guidance.

Will I be contacted once the SHELAA is complete?

Once a draft SHELAA is available, those who have submitted sites will be consulted regarding the outcomes relating to their site or sites. They will be given the opportunity to comment on the emerging results and submit further information in support of their site. Any comments and additional information will be considered in finalising the assessment. On completion, the Council will publish the SHELAA on the website and inform site promoters of its publication.

How does this relate to the Local Plan?

The Call for Sites is a technical exercise allowing for the preparation of a new SHELAA to replace the now dated 2016 land availability assessment. It does not affect the Local Plan (2019) which remains up to date. The Council is able to demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply of 7.74 years and received a positive Housing Delivery Test result of 156%. As such, the Local Plan remains fit for purpose.

Will ‘made’ neighbourhood plans be affected?

The status of any ‘made’ neighbourhood plans is not affected by the Call for Sites or the SHELAA preparation process. The completed SHELAA is likely to be a useful source of potential sites in the preparation or review of neighbourhood plans in the future.

Is this linked to the Strategic Growth Plan?

The submission of sites is encouraged from across the District including, but not limited to, the growth areas as identified in the Strategic Growth Plan for Leicester and Leicestershire.

Will there be future opportunities to submit sites?

We would encourage the submission of sites through this Call for Sites to establish early dialogue between site promoters and the Council. However, the SHELAA will be updated regularly so there will be future opportunities to submit sites.

Who can I contact if I have further queries?

If you would like to discuss the Call for Sites process further, please email

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