Potential For Brownfield Land To Provide New Homes In England

A report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has revealed that the use of derelict land could provide much needed new homes in England.

By using land previously been developed but not in use could be the answer to the shortage of new homes after a recent report revealed housebuilders felt they were unlikely to be able to achieve the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes per year – with 55% of the home building companies that responded were concerned that the lack of available land will pose an issue to building more new homes moving forward

However, one million new homes across 18,000 unused sites could transform towns and cities in England by providing new homes, according to a new analysis.

The CPRE report also indicated the potential of brownfield land for housing could put a stop to the unnecessary use and loss of countryside and green spaces.

It indicated the introduction of a policy whereby brownfield sites would take priority over greenfield, and how it can support local authorities by producing a more comprehensive list of opportunities.

The analysis, which is supported by the National Federation of Builders (NFB) encourages local government to actively seek, identify and promote brownfield sites due to the potential regeneration of towns and cities, plus increasing new homes into the marketplace.

What is most prominent in the report is that there is suitable land which has been previously built on, which now lies vacant, that could have more than one million new homes built on it. Two-thirds of which are ready now which could greatly contribute to the Government’s target as it has been confirmed that new houses can be built within 5 years.

More than 120,000 of the potential new homes have been added to council brownfield land registers in the past year alone.

Rebecca Pullinger, CPRE Planning Campaigner said:

“Building on brownfield land presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration. It will help to limit the amount of countryside lost to development and build more homes in areas where people want to live, with infrastructure, amenities and services already in place.

“Councils have worked hard to identify space suitable for more than one million new homes. But until we have a brownfield first approach to development, and all types of previously developed land are considered, a large number of sites that could be transformed into desperately needed new homes will continue to be overlooked. The Government, local councils and house builders must work hard to bring these sites forward for development and get building.”

Many areas across England with high housing need also have a large amount of brownfield land ready for redevelopment. London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, and Sheffield have identified land available for regeneration that would provide almost half a million homes.

The CPRE adds that clearer definitions and guidelines must be given so that the registers act as a true pipeline, identifying all possible brownfield sites and recording their suitability for uses other than housing, including uses that protect the biodiversity or heritage value of sites where applicable.


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