Our guidance on completing Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments, published in support of Planning Policy Statement 3, sets out very clearly the importance of a partnership approach in identifying land for housing.
It says that regional planning bodies and local planning authorities should work together, and with key stakeholders, to undertake assessments to ensure a joined-up and robust approach. Assessments should preferably be carried out at the sub-regional level, for separate housing market areas, by housing market partnerships (where established). Housing market partnerships should include key stakeholders such as house builders, social landlords, local property agents, local communities and other agencies, such as English Partnerships (now the Homes and Communities Agency) where they have a recognised interest in an area.
Key stakeholders should be involved at the outset of the assessment, so that they can help shape the approach to be taken. In particular, house builders and local property agents should provide expertise and knowledge to help the partnership to take a view on the deliverability and developability of sites, and how market conditions may affect economic viability. Key stakeholders should also be involved in updating the assessment from time to time.