Why do I need to read this guide?

This toolkit is an updated and expanded version of our 2015 toolkit. It has been updated to include updates to policy and guidance, a new site assessment template and guidance on site allocations. It is aimed at neighbourhood planning groups who are intending to asses and allocate sites for development within the neighbourhood plan area.

It explains the principles for allocating sites and the methods that should be applied in order to make sure the sites chosen are the most appropriate for the neighbourhood.

What will I learn from this guide?

  • The process of assessing and allocating sites for development
  • The toolkit provides useful templates for what a site assessment should include
  • A checklist for groups to ensure site assessments are comprehensive enough

When should I read this guide?

You should read this guide if your community decide to allocate sites for development in the neighbourhood plan area.

Further reading

You may wish to read the ‘How to produce a Housing Needs Assessment (HNA)‘ guide.


A revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) is currently being prepared by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Therefore any references to the NPPF and PPG within our toolkits and guidance documents may need to change and could be out of date when the revised NPPF is published. Please be aware of this when reading our documents.

How to assess and allocate sites for development (7.7MB pdf) Site Assessment Appendix A: Blank template (1.8MB document) Site Assessment Appendix B: Template guidance notes (2.9MB pdf)