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Medway Strategic Land Availability Assessment

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires Local Planning Authorities to prepare Strategic Land Availability Assessments (SLAAs) to demonstrate the availability of potential development sites within their area.

In assessing the supply of potential development sites, the SLAA must consider if land is ‘suitable’ for development, ‘available’ and ‘deliverable’. The SLAA is an important part of the evidence base of the emerging Plan, allowing the Council to consider where development might be directed over the next 20 years.

It is important to note that, while the SLAA indicates the Council’s initial assessment as to whether a site is free of constraints likely to come forward for development, it does not allocate development sites or grant planning permission. As such the SLAA does not predetermine the Council’s future assessment of sites through the local plan and development management processes.

The council made their first call for sites in 2008/2009 and completed the first Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA) of the area in November 2010.  There have been four subsequent reviews.  These can all be found in the downloads area at the bottom of this page.

Given that the Council is in the process of preparing a new Local Plan, a new and comprehensive SLAA has been prepared. This is also available at the bottom of the page.

In preparing the new SLAA, the Council undertook a new ‘call for sites’ that ran for 8 weeks between Friday, 14 March and Friday, 9 May 2014.  Surveys of sites were then completed during Summer and Autumn 2014. Council officers also spoke to the promoters of land in meetings during December 2014 and January 2015 to discuss their sites in more detail. Sites were then subject to a comprehensive desktop assessment of suitability.

Full details of the methodology used to assess sites is set out in the SLAA Main Report below. Volumes 1- 4 comprises the completed sites assessment proforma for the 425 sites that have been assessed.

Of the 425 sites assessed, 336 sites have been assessed as being unsuitable for development. A total of 89 sites have been identified as being suitable for accommodating housing development, with an approximate capacity of 12,708 units, of which 11,381 do not currently benefit from an extant permission (although 5000 of these units are accommodated on the Lodge Hill site).

Following the publication of the SLAA and the public engagement in the process as a part of the Issues and Options Consultation (January – February 2016) work is currently underway to update SLAA. It is expected that the update will be completed and published in January 2017 alongside the next Local Plan consultation.  

National Planning Practice Guidance

National Planning Practice Guidance has been published on the assessment of land availability.  The process is summarised in the flowchart below, with Medway’s programme alongside. Updates on Medway's timetable will be provided in due course.

National Planning Practice Guidance Flowchart (pdf, 13KB)


Current SLAA Site Submission proforma (pdf, 347KB)

SLAA Main Report November 2015 (pdf, 3,420KB), Volume 1 - Maps of SLAA sites (pdf, 19,260KB), Volume 2 - sites 1 - 298 (pdf, 8,889KB), Volume 3 - sites 300 - 797 (pdf, 12,538KB), Volume 4 - sites 800 - 1114 (pdf, 8,939KB)

2014 call for sites Pro forma (pdf, 100KB) for reference purposes only as call for sites now closed

Copy of letter/email sent calling for sites 14 March 2014 (pdf, 24KB)

Medway SLAA Fourth Review January 2014 (pdf, 6,144KB)

Medway SLAA Third Review January 2013 (pdf 5,669KB)

Medway SLAA Second Review January 2012 [with employment- retail tables] (pdf 6,219KB)

Medway SLAA First Review May 2011 (pdf 5,617KB) 

Medway SLAA November 2010 (pdf 5,068KB)

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to use the pdf files on this page. If you do not have this on your computer, please go to our advice page.

Useful links

National Planning Practice Guidance - Assessment of Land Availability

National Planning Policy Framework