Build on brownfield land, says housing minister

24 Nov 14
Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis today called on councils to prioritise development of brownfield land so that more homes can be built while protecting the countryside.

By Richard Johnstone | 24 November 2014

Housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis today called on councils to prioritise development of brownfield land so that more homes can be built while protecting the countryside.

Issuing a response to a report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which found there was enough brownfield land in England for development of almost 1 million new homes, Lewis said there was ‘scope for building new homes and protecting the countryside at the same time’. 

The report, which included an examination of brownfield land by the University of the West of England, found areas with either detailed or outline planning permission could already accommodate more than 400,000 houses.
Nearly half of this vacant space is located in the South East, the East of England and London, which itself could house 146,000 homes.

Responding to the report, Lewis said the government wanted to see the ‘maximum amount of brownfield land being used to build new homes, whilst also maintaining protections for our beautiful countryside’.

He added: ‘That is why our planning reforms encourage councils to use brownfield land for new buildings, free up disused public sector land for redevelopment and why we’ve invested £235m into bringing 80,000 long-term empty homes back into use since 2010. 

‘We are proud to be building more homes to support hard working families and help first time buyers onto the property ladder.’

Publishing theFrom wasted space to living spaces report, CPRE planning campaign manager Paul Miner said the finding of space for 976,000 homes demonstrated brownfield should be the focus for future development.
‘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.’

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