Local Plan Review Evidence Base

The decisions we make have to be based on evidence. Whether it's the number of houses we need to deliver, or the type of design features we will require in new buildings, evidence is essential for a Local Plan.  The evidence we have collected to date can be found below.

You may wish to use the evidence base documents to support your comments on the Local Plan Review's policies and site allocations.  If you wish to comment on an evidence base document without any reference to the Local Plan Review's content, please use the Comments Proforma (PDF, 175kb).

Housing and Employment

Technical Paper 1: Strategic Development Options and Site Allocation

The Technical Paper explains how the Council have arrived at the "preferred option", starting with the baseline evidence of what the development needs of the Borough are, and considering where the needs should be met broadly (which parts of the Borough) and specifically (what site allocations are needed to meet the requirement).


Local Plan Site Assessments

To help inform the most appropriate sites for future development, we assessed sites around the edge of existing settlements against a wide range of criteria. View all our assessments below.


Ormskirk and Aughton

Skelmersdale and South-Eastern Parishes (including Up Holland, Bickerstaffe and Lathom South)

Eastern Parishes (including Newburgh, Parbold and Appley Bridge)

Northern Parishes (including Tarleton, Hesketh Bank and Banks)

Western Parishes (including Halsall and Scarisbrick)


Strategic Housing and Employment Land Market Assessment

The Liverpool City Region Strategic Housing and Employment Land Market Assessment (SHELMA) looks at future needs for housing and employment land.  IT was completed in 2018 and published in early 2019.


Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment

The Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment 2017 (HEDNA)  uses information from government statistics (e.g. household projections) and from experts in fields such as employment forecasting to come up with an objectively-assessed need for housing and employment land in West Lancashire over the coming 20 years.


West Lancashire Housing Growth Scenarios

The West Lancashire Housing Growth Scenarios 2017 report builds on the findings of the HEDNA.  It considers two growth scenarios, their likely impact on housing need, and whether a higher housing requirement may be appropriate.


Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment

The Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA) considers the suitability and the potential for future development of various sites submitted to the Council.


Affordable and Specialist Housing Needs Study

This document looks at the needs for affordable housing, older people's housing, and accommodation for caravan and houseboat dwellers .


Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment

This document sets out the accommodation needs from 2017-2037 of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople in West Lancashire.


Retail and Leisure Study

This document looks at current and future needs for retail and commercial / leisure floorspace in West Lancashire.


Infrastructure and Services

Infrastructure Delivery Plan

The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) provides important background evidence regarding the infrastructure required to support development in the Borough.  It provides information on both current delivery and anticipated future requirements.  We prepare it by working closely with infrastructure and service providers - including United Utilities, the Environment Agency and Lancashire County Council. 

We are updating the IDP in two stages: Stage 1 looks at current infrastructure provision; Stage 2 will look at future infrastructure provision in conjunction with the Local Plan Review Preferred Options.


The Infrastructure Delivery Schedule

The Infrastructure Delivery Schedule (IDS) is a list of all those projects required to support new development across the Borough. The latest IDS (2018) is published below.


The Sustainable Settlement Study

The Sustainable Settlement Study looks at the different services and facilities in the various towns and villages in West Lancashire, and proposes a 'hierarchy' of settlements.


Transport Assessment

This first draft report gives a strategic technical assessment of the highway network in West Lancashire and the surrounding area.  It looks at the current operation of the network and how this may change in the future, taking planned developments into account.


Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Study (2019)

This study provides evidence to underpin renewable and low carbon energy policies in the new plan, including that relating to wind turbines, solar panels and community energy schemes.



Sustainability Appraisal

The Sustainability Appraisal looks at the economic, environmental and social effects of the proposed Local Plan.


Habitats Regulations Assessment

The Habitats Regulation Assessment looks at the likely effects of the Local Plan on designated nature conservation sites within and close to West Lancashire.


Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) assesses the risk to an area from flooding from all sources (river and coastal, surface), now and in the future.  It takes account of the impacts of climate change and assesses the impact that land use changes and development in the area will have on flood risk. A 'Level 1' SFRA looks at flood risk in more general terms. A 'Level 2' SFRA looks at site-specific matters.


Ecological Networks

Ecological networks are a series of sites located across a district that enable wildlife to move safely from one place to another, for example to feed.


Playing Pitch Strategy

The Playing Pitch Strategy 2018 is made up of two documents, an assessment report, and a strategy / action plan. The strategy / action plan has been agreed by the National Governing Bodies of Sport.


Open Space Study

The West Lancashire Open Space Study 2018 is an assessment of open space, sport and recreational facilities in West Lancashire. The study considers current and future local open space needs, standards, and management.




Duty to Co-Operate Statement

This document explains how we have engaged with our neighbouring Councils in preparing the Local Plan Review Preferred Options.


Thematic Papers

The 'thematic spatial evidence papers' (TSEPs) summarise the initial, or 'baseline', evidence for the Local Plan Review.  Each paper covers a particular topic at a West Lancashire level.  These papers are being used to identify particular 'issues' in West Lancashire; these will be used in various ways, not least for the sustainability appraisal of the forthcoming process.



Spatial Papers

The 'spatial evidence papers' (SEPs) summarise the key evidence for the Local Plan Review by spatial area, and summarise the issues for that specific area.


Census 2011


Annual Monitoring Reports

The Council produces an annual monitoring report (AMR).  The AMR reports on the Council's progress in preparing the Local Plan and other documents; reports on any Local Plan consultation which has been undertaken; reports on S106 and CIL receipts and expenditure; and looks at the Borough's planning policies to see whether they are achieving their purpose by using indicators and targets.


Health and Wellbeing Strategy

The WLBC Health and Wellbeing Strategy aims to contribute to ensuring the conditions are in place for people in West Lancashire to live healthy and fulfilling lives.