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Evidence topics

Evidence topics

We collect and use evidence gathered by other bodies to inform our planning policy-making process. We continue to update evidence on key areas to inform policy monitoring and new policy preparation. Some of the documents are updated on a regular basis, others only when required.

 See below for the range of evidence topics.

Settlement Hierarchy

The Settlement Hierarchy Assessment is a technical study that considers the range of services and facilities available at different settlements within Wokingham Borough. The provision of services and facilities changes, so this study presents a snapshot in time. It is not the role of this study to determine where development is directed.

A copy of the study can be found below:


Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

Undertaking a SHMA is a key requirement of Government’s planning for housing policy, set out in the National Planning Policy Framework on the Gov.uk website and the National Planning Practice Guidance.

The Berkshire and South Bucks SHMA is a technical study undertaken by GL Hearn to assess the future housing need for Berkshire and South Bucks up until 2036. Read the full report, below.

For an overview of the SHMA, see the presentation of the results below.


A sensitivity analysis has been undertaken for the Western Berkshire Housing Market Area to take account of more recent data. Read the full report below.


5 Year Housing Land Supply Statement

A 5 year housing land supply statement is undertaken to include details of whether a five year supply of housing land is available within the borough.

The most recent 5 Year Housing Land Supply Statement can be found below.


Housing and Economic Land Availability (HELAA)

The Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) helps to identify future sources of land to help meet development needs.  It is a technical study of all potential land for housing and economic uses (such as offices and retail).  The inclusion of land within a HELAA report does not in itself determine that it is suitable for development, or that the land is necessary available for development. Assessments made through a HELAA are indicative only and do not prejudice assessments make through the Local Plan or planning application processes.

The joint methodology has been prepared by Reading Borough Council, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Slough Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council.  The methodology will be used to assess the land for development.  It sets out the way the councils broadly propose to assess the suitability of land put forward for development; whether it is available, achievable and whether the development could realistically be built in the timescales expected. Read the full report, below.

First Homes Interim Policy Statement 

This First Homes Interim Policy Statement outlines the position of Wokingham Borough Council on First Homes.  The Government published a Written Ministerial Statement and a Planning Practice Guide on 24 May 2021, setting out details relating to the new First Homes policy in England.  The Council's interim policy statement is in response to the Government's First Homes policy, explaining the implications for Wokingham Borough and introducing local eligibility criteria in line with Government guidance.  Read the First Homes Interim Policy Statement, below.

Affordable Housing 

We ask for affordable housing to be provided within the borough to assist people who are unable to access suitable accommodation on the open market.

There is more detail about the amount and size of the units required in the supporting text to policy CP5 of our adopted Core Strategy. In addition to policy CP5, we have an  Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) (PDF Document). The Affordable Housing SPD sets out our approach to securing affordable housing as part of housing development. We are continuing to apply policy CP5 regarding affordable housing thresholds. Read our  Affordable Housing Position Statement (PDF document) for more details.  

We appointed Levvel to undertake an Affordable Housing Viability Study (PDF document) to assess thresholds, quotas, tenure mixes and grant assumptions. This study was updated in 2009 through the  Affordable Housing Viability Study (PDF document) and this has helped us to formulate policies for affordable housing in our local plan documents. 

Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showperson Accommodation Assessment 

National policy sets out that local planning authorities should make their own assessment of need for Gypsy and Traveller and Travelling Showpeople sites within their area.

The Council commissioned arc4 Ltd to undertake such a study which are commonly referred to as a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments (GTAA.) The study was completed in May 2017 and updated in September 2017. It replaces the previous study which was completed in 2015. Read the full updated report below.

Brownfield Register

Local Planning Authorities are required through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004) and the Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 to publish a Brownfield Land Register.

The purpose of publishing a Register is that it encourages the reuse of brownfield sites (also known as "previously developed land" as defined by Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework) and is intended to speed up the planning process for such sites. Whilst the register focuses on the redevelopment of sites for residential use, it can include other uses too, such as offices and retail, provided they support a residential element.

The register comprises 2 parts:


A brownfield site is included in the register where it: 

  • Has an area of at least 0.25 hectares or is capable of supporting at least 5 dwellings;
  • Is promoted for residential development;
  • Is achievable (development can take place within 15 years of the entry date); and
  • Is suitable for residential development.

Additionally, in accordance with national guidance, as part of the process to assess the suitability of brownfield sites for residential development, the following points are also considered:

  • Any adverse impacts on the natural environment
  • Any adverse impacts on the local built environment, in particular on heritage assets 
  • Any adverse impacts on the local amenity that such development might cause for intended occupiers or occupiers of neighbouring properties
  • The spatial strategy of the adopted and emerging Local Plans
  • National policies and advice
  • Guidance issued by the Secretary of State  

Wokingham Borough Council are legally obliged to publish a register of the brownfield land available for development within the Borough. This Register has been compiled in accordance with the government's guidance

A CSV file and Excel spreadsheet listing the sites currently on the register may be found using the links below. 

Brownfield Register documents

Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA)

This report has been prepared by Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) on behalf of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP) and the 6 Berkshire authorities of Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough,  West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham. It establishes the various functional economic market areas that operate across Berkshire and the wider sub-region, in order to provide the 6 authorities and the TVBLEP with an understanding of the  various economic relationships, linkages and flows which characterise the sub-regional economy.

The report presents analysis of a range of existing data and concludes that there are three FEMAs operating across the Berkshire area (a Western, Central and Eastern FEMA). The emerging findings have concluded that Wokingham is in the Central FEMA  along with Bracknell Forest and Reading.

The final document can be found below.

Economic Development Needs Assessment

The Economic Development Needs Assessment identifies the future quantity of land or floor space that could be required for economic development uses in each FEMA and unitary authority area. 

The final document can be found below.

Retail Study 

The Western Berkshire Retail and Commercial Leisure Assessment 2016 has been prepared by GVA on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council ,Reading Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council and West Berkshire District Council. The report sets out the need for retail and commercial leisure uses for the study area up until 2036.


'Planning for employment' covers planning for uses defined as classes B1, B2 and B8 which are defined as 'employment land uses', (see the Planning Portal website for more information about use classes). This includes various forms of development including

  • Offices (excluding financial and professional services- see use class A2)
  • Research and development of products or processes
  • General industrial uses
  • Storage or distribution centres

Below are links to the employment land surveys that we have undertaken, providing detailed information about the change in employment land uses in the Wokingham Borough.

See our dedicated environment evidence page. This contains an up-to-date list of the current environment topics.

Wokingham Transport Model

We have a borough-wide transport model that represents average weekday traffic conditions in 2015 during the morning, evening and inter-peak periods.

The model forecasts the years 2021, 2026 and 2036 to represent development and changes in the Managing Development Delivery Local Plan and Core Strategy. These documents are below. 

Parking Standards Study 

The Parking Standards Study report (PDF document) has been prepared to enable the current parking standards to be reviewed. The Parking Standards Calculation document (Excel document) or Parking Demand Calculation spreadsheet (Excel document) should be used alongside the Parking Standards Study report.

Parking standards for all planning use classes, types of vehicles, cycles and disabled bays are also provided and these form part of the Managing Development Delivery Local Plan (MDD.)

Sustainable Transport Delivery Excellence Programme (STDEP)

This technical study considers what existing transport is provided around Grazeley and to analyse potential mode share achievable with high quality sustainable transport options 

This technical study considers what existing transport is provided around Twyford and to analyse potential mode share achievable with high quality sustainable transport options 

Note: the reports do not identify land for release or development.

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