CPRE: England has space for at least 1 million brownfield homes

A minimum of 976,000 new homes could be built on identified brownfield sites, according to a report published today by countryside group the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) which claims that brownfield land is 'far from finite'.

Brownfield regeneration: a minimum of 976,000 homes could be built on brownfield, report says (picture: Alan Stanton)
Brownfield regeneration: a minimum of 976,000 homes could be built on brownfield, report says (picture: Alan Stanton)

The study, carried out for the CPRE by the University of West England, analysed data submitted by local authorities since 2010 to the National Land Use Database of Previously Developed Land.

According to the report, the data show that brownfield land can accommodate a minimum of 976,000 homes, but actual brownfield capacity is "much greater than that" as the figure does not include sites with the potential for development, or land that will shortly become brownfield.

The report says that there is enough brownfield land with either outline or detailed planning permission for just over 405,000 homes.

There is also capacity for 550,000 homes on suitable vacant and derelict land, according to the report.

It adds that the amount of brownfield land is "far from finite; it is, in reality, a renewable resource".

According to CPRE's report, in 2012 more than 22,500 hectares of brownfield land were judged to be suitable for housing, equating to an area larger than the Liverpool urban area.

The analysis found that 14,850 hectares of brownfield land had either outline or detailed planning permission in 2012 (see infographic, below).

According to the report, data from 82 local authorities that provided figures for 2011 and 2012 indicate that in the period 2010-2012 the total amount of suitable brownfield land increased by 67 hectares, despite 1,658 hectares being redeveloped.



Paul Miner, planning campaign manager at the CPRE, said: "We want this new, authoritative evidence to lead to a sustained focus on suitable brownfield land.

"We can and must do more to get these sites redeveloped, whether it be reviving the National Land Use Database or implementing strong local plans to deal with multiple landowners on difficult sites."

Planning minister Brandon Lewis said the report "illustrates the scope for building new homes and protecting the countryside at the same time".

He said: "This government wants to see the maximum amount of brownfield land being used to build new homes, while also maintaining protections for our beautiful countryside."

An analysis published today by property consultancy Daniel Watney of figures provided by 45 per cent of English councils identifies more than 10,000 hectares of brownfield land suitable for housing, with the potential capacity for over 460,000 homes.

According to the analysis, 25 per cent of these homes are on brownfield land owned by the public sector, with space for 120,000 homes.

An analysis of official figures earlier this month by Planning suggested that more than a million homes could be built on brownfield in England, but only one in ten are not already in the planning pipeline.

From Wasted Spaces to Living Spaces is available here.


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