New homes on Brownfield land

The CPRE recently pointed out that thirteen councils with over 40,000 people built less than 33% of new homes on brownfield land.

Corby 9%
Milton Keynes 13%
North Lincolnshire 16%
Harlow 23%
East Riding 23%
Waveney 25%
Boston 28%
Eastbourne 30%
Rugby 30%
Great Yarmouth 31%
Swindon 32%
Ashford 33%
Kingston upon Hull 33%

The government's national target is to build 60% of new houses on brownfield land.

Green Belt

As can be seen above Councils are starting to have trouble in hitting this figure. For example:

Council says it cannot cope with plan for more homes

Swindon is being pushed to accept more homes than it can deal with, says a report going to the civic cabinet on Wednesday (This is, 21 Aug 2006)

The classification of brownfield land changed in 2000. Previously Brownfield land was a loose term used to describe land which has already been developed, as opposed to green field land which has not. Since the planning legislation of 2000 the government now excludes land which has been quarried from being called brownfield land. So when Corby approved the building of new homes on a former quarry the building was not considered to have taken place on brownfield land. (see 9 Aug 2006 - "Confusion" over Brownfield sites).

This confusion over Brownfield land increases when the government legislation includes gardens in the leafy suburbs as brownfield sites. Councils have been making the most of this anomaly to try and hit their housing targets by squeezing new flats and housing estates into larger gardens. The backlash to this though has now started with the Conservative party publishing a five-point plan on how they propose to stop the overdevelopment of the leafy suburbs.

"As Tony Blair faces critical mid-term elections next May, England's homes and gardens will be the battleground" Ms Spelman declared.

"Only Conservatives will protect the character of England's neighbourhoods, and ensure we deliver the family homes that people actually want to live in." 18 Aug 2006

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