21 May Research Finds Brownfield Registers Show Land to Build One Million New Homes

Research from the Campaign to Protect Rural England estimates there’s enough brownfield land available to build one million homes. 


Research finds Brownfield registers show land to build one million new homes The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has now published its research into Brownfield Land Registers with some interesting findings. The 17,656 sites identified by local planning authorities, cover over 28,000 hectares, providing enough land for at least 1,052,124 new homes.

Over two thirds of these homes could be deliverable within five years, and many of these sites are in areas that have a high need for housing. Urban areas have the most brownfield land, and already have infrastructure, leading to a higher demand for housing. The areas of England identified with the highest number of potential “deliverable” homes include London, the North West and the South East.

This means that three of the next five years’ worth of Government housing targets could be met through building on brownfield land already identified, easing pressures on councils to continue releasing greenfield land and preventing the loss of countryside.

The registers found sites for over 400,000 homes that have not yet come forward for planning permission, despite the “urgent need” to move sites towards development.

Rebecca Pullinger, planning campaigner at the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said:

“It’s fantastic news that local authorities have identified so many sites on brownfield land that are ready and waiting to be developed – and shown how wide of the mark the Government’s estimates of brownfield capacity have been.”

No need for Greenfield?

An investigation by The Times has found that in England we are losing an area the size of Glasgow every year because of a record number of developments on greenfield land. Forests, fields and parks are now disappearing under concrete at the fastest rate for a quarter of a century.

Further analysis from the CPRE showed that there is brownfield capacity wherever there is threat to the green belt, meaning that that three of the next five years’ worth of government housing targets could be met through building on brownfield land that’s already been identified. This would ease pressure on councils being pushed to release greenfield land, and that less of the UK’s countryside would be used for new builds.

In a number of areas that have an extremely high number of sites in the Green Belt proposed for development, local authorities have identified enough suitable brownfield land to satisfy up to 12 years’ worth of housing need.

Following its release for consultation in March 2018, and in order to make use of suitable brownfield land the CPRE has since called on the government to amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to introduce an effective brownfield first policy, operating through a sequential approach to site selection and to specifically empower LPAs to reject greenfield applications when there is a suitable brownfield site available nearby.

 “The government needs to get on with amending its guidance to make sure that councils identified all the available brownfield sites in their areas. They then need to improve incentives to build on these sites and ensure that they follow through on their commitment that all new-builds should be on brownfield first.” Rebecca Pullinger, Planning Campaigner, Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Read the full ‘State of Brownfield 2018’ report from the CPRE.