Amount of English brownfield sites for homes on the rise, says report

The amount of brownfield land in England is growing faster than it is being used, according to a report by countryside campaigners.

The report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) says there were 31,160 hectares of previously developed land suitable for housing in 2009, up from 28,060 in 2001. No English region showed a "persistent decline" in the area of suitable brownfield land between those years, the report said.

The CPRE says the government's draft National Planning Policy Framework would no longer require developers to use brownfield land before greenfield sites are considered.

It is calling for the "brownfield first" policy to be retained in the final version of the framework. CPRE policy and campaigns director Neil Sinden said: "Our research shows that there is plenty of brownfield land available and planning policy should promote its use."

But a spokesman for lobby group the Home Builders Federation said: "Brownfield first does not mean more brownfield land is used. What is does mean is less greenfield use and thus less overall land for development."

The report is available via Planning

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