Brownfield, or ‘previously developed land’, offers the opportunity for redevelopment and regeneration in areas with existing infrastructure, access to local amenities and proximity to existing communities. They are valuable for urban regeneration and sustainable development. However, in recent years policy has moved away from a strong and clear ‘brownfield first’ message. Whilst planning policy still supports Green Belt protection, and encourages brownfield reuse through a number of policy and funding mechanisms, it is harder for local planning authorities to prioritise brownfield over greenfield sites in Local Plans in development control decisions. The purpose of this study, commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, is to understand how much urban brownfield land is available for housing, where it is, and what is working, or not working, to bring it forward for development. It provides up-to-date evidence of PDL, through an analysis of the most recent National Land Use Database, as the basis for an informed debate about the location of housing in England. Through its close study of seven local planning authorities, it then identifies the various strategic approaches to brownfield identification and development, and the barriers that hamper progress. The data suggest that local authorities have identified capacity for at least 1 million new homes on brownfield land and that sites with existing planning permission can accommodate more than 405,000 homes. The qualitative research suggests that for brownfield sites to be developed, three inter-related ‘conditions’ have to be right: market conditions; planning and regulatory conditions; and site conditions.
Sinnett, D., Williams, K., & Carmichael, L. (2015, September). The availability of brownfield land for housing. Paper presented at UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference: Future Planning, Future Cities