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Research, Evidence and Monitoring

Plan making in St. Helens is supported and informed by a range of studies and evidence that help determine what the focus of our policies should be. Collectively they form the evidence base for the Local Plan. 

Research, together with monitoring, helps us determine how successful our planning policies are and whether they need updating or replacing. Documents arranged by theme are available to view and download below.


The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) is one of the key evidence base studies for the new St. Helens Local Plan providing an assessment of how much land is potentially available for housing in the urban areas of the Borough. It forms the basis for understanding the capacity of the Borough’s existing urban areas to accommodate new housing development.

In line with national guidance the SHLAA establishes realistic assumptions about the availability, suitability and likely economic viability of land to meet the identified need for housing over the Local Plan period. The SHLAA does not allocate any specific sites or suggest that planning permission be given on them. It is for the emerging Local Plan to decide where new housing should be located.

2017 SHLAA

This is the sixth SHLAA to be prepared for St. Helens, and updates the previous 2016 SHLAA which comprehensively reviewed all conclusions previously reached for sites already within the SHLAA process and assessed new sites. All new sites submitted to the Council by 31st March 2017 have been considered in this update and conclusions updated on existing sites where new information has come to light.

The 2017 SHLAA and accompanying Developability and Large Sites with Planning Permission Plans are available to view and download below:

Sites not submitted in time for consideration by the 2017 SHLAA will be saved for the next SHLAA.

2016 SHLAA and NLUD

A plan has been prepared showing those sites identified in the '2016 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)' along with other previously developed land identified through the 'St.Helens National Land Use Database of Previously Developed Land (NLUD-PDL) Annual Survey 2011-2012'. This plan, with accompanying site reference tables, is available to view and download below.

Historic NLUD-PDL surveys for St. Helens, are available under the 'Previously Developed Land' drop down section.


The Call for Sites form and Guidance Note are available to download below. 

Call For Sites Submissions

Since 2013, as well as suggestions for housing sites in built up areas, we have also accepted suggestions for other uses such as employment, retail, leisure and other significant development, including sites in the Green Belt, and suggestions for sites that should be protected from development. These suggestions are currently being considered as we prepare the new Local Plan.

If you have previously submitted a site for consideration during previous Call for Sites consultations then there is no need to resubmit your site unless you have or additional information to provide.

A map showing the locations of sites submitted as part of Calls for Sites up to 2016 is available to view below. This consolidates all previous submissions under one reference number. Details of individual submissions (with any personal information redacted) are available on request. Please contact the Planning Policy Team.

If you have any further questions please contact us.

Brownfield Land Register

Local Planning Authorities are required by the Government to prepare and publish a Brownfield Land Register ('the Register') by 31 December 2017. The Register provides details of previously developed sites (brownfield) that are available and potentially suitable for residential development.

The preparation of the Brownfield Land Register is governed by The Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 and the Government has published a series of frequently asked questions to help people understand their purpose and how they will operate.

The Register is intended to help developers identify suitable sites quickly, speeding up the construction of new homes and maximising the number of new homes built on suitable and available brownfield sites.

The Register contains a standard set of information, prescribed by the Government, that will be kept up-to-date, and made publicly available, to help provide certainty for developers and communities and encourage investment in local areas. The register will also act as a vehicle for granting permission in principle (PiP) on suitable sites. It should also be noted that some of the sites are part of a larger deliverable site that contains Greenfield land, therefore it is strongly recommended that the 2017 SHLAA is also reviewed alongside the Register.

The Register has two parts to it:

• Part 1 of the Register comprises of all brownfield sites that the Council has assessed against a set criteria, which are considered appropriate for residential development (including sites with and without planning consent and PiP);

• Part 2 of the Register is a continuation of Part 1 for sites that the Council has granted PiP for housing-led development. PiP will establish the fundamental principles of development in terms of the use, location and amount of development. However, planning permission is not granted until Technical Details Consent is applied for and approved by the Council.

Brownfield Land Register (csv format)

Brownfield Land - Large Plan

Previously Developed Land

The Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) is, as of 1st December 2008, responsible for the collection and dissemination of data pertaining to Previously Developed Land (PDL) across England. This data was previously collected and managed by the National Land Use Database (NLUD) partnership (comprising Communities and Local Government and the HCA’s forerunner, EnPar - English Partnerships).

The National Land Use Database of Previously Developed Land (NLUD-PDL)

The PDL programme provides an inventory of the national stock of brownfield sites, monitors the supply and re-use of previously developed land and buildings from information provided by St.Helens Council’s Planning PDL database and annually submits a data retum of Previously Developed Land (PDL) that is vacant or derelict and other previously developed land, which may be available for re-development.  The NLUD-PDL Database is available to download on the The Homes and Communities Agency's wepage.

Previous NLUD-PDL Results and Analysis

National, Regional and local results and analyses from the National Land Use Database of Previously Developed Land (NLUD-PDL) surveys from 2001 to 2007 are available to download from the results page of the National Archives (NLUD) web pages.

NLUD-PDL and 2016 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

A plan has been prepared showing those sites identified in the 2016 SHLAA along with other previously developed land identified through the St.Helens National Land Use Database Annual Survey 2011-2012. This plan, with accompanying site reference tables, is available to view and download below. 


A number of Employment and Economic reports, documents and background studies have been undertaken and used to inform the Local Plan. The most recent studies that have been prepared are the St. Helens Allocations Local Plan Economic Evidence Base Paper 2015 and the St. Helens Employment Land Needs Study 2015.

A study has been conducted by AECOM and Cushman & Wakefield on behalf of St. Helens Council to investigate the feasibility of delivery options for a road and rail-linked logistics development on land at the former Parkside colliery site. The study is available to view and download via the link below.

2017 Retail & Leisure Study 

A Retail & Leisure Study undertaken by WYG to inform the preparation of the Local Plan is available below with supporting appendices:


Please note, The St. Helens Retail and Leisure Study will be subject to an update following the latest release of the Experian Retail Planner Briefing Note 15 on 19th December 2017.

Previous Studies

Previous Retail and Town Centre Uses related reports, documents and background studies are available below: 

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

The St. Helens Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) 2014 was prepared by JBA Consulting in consultation with the Environment Agency.

The purpose of the SFRA is to provide up-to-date information on flood risk to help inform decisions made on planning applications, options for the allocation of land in the Council’s emerging Allocations Local Plan and the preparation of policies for the flood risk management.

The St. Helens SFRA Report consists of a combined Level 1 SFRA and a Level 2 SFRA. The Level 1 element of the Report updates the previous Level 1 SFRA that was prepared in 2009 and assesses sources of flood risk across the Borough. The Level 2 element of the Report includes detailed site assessments for potential development locations in the Borough and takes into account the presence of flood defences.

The SFRA should be used to inform the preparation of the Sequential Test and the Exception Test at the planning application stage.

The various elements of the SFRA can be downloaded by clicking on the links below. A User Guide has been prepared which provides specific guidance on how the SFRA should be used by all involved in the development planning process. Mapping is available in relation to flood risk zones, surface water flooding, historical flooding and flood risk management.

Open Space, Sports and Recreation Assessment (OSSRA) 2016

Documents making up the St. Helens Open Space, Sports and Recreation Assessment (OSSRA) 2016 prepared by Knight, Kavanagh & Page are available to view and download below.

At Cabinet on 24th August 2016, members resolved to approve the adoption by the Council of the 2016 Playing Pitch Strategy and Action Plan and to endorse both the Playing Pitch Strategy and Playing Pitch Assessment as supporting evidence for the preparation of the Local Plan. To view and download the Cabinet documents please see the 24th August Cabinet Agenda webpage.

Open Space Study 2006 

The St. Helens Open Space Space Study 2006 prepared by PMP is available to view and download below.


A review into the St. Helens Greenway network and the planning policy needed to support the protection of the network is available to view and download below.


Documents relating to the St.Helens Landscape Character Assessment January 2006 prepared by Land Use Consultants can be viewed and downloaded below.




Monitoring Reports assess how Local Plan policies are being implemented and if they are working