How the government’s new register can drive development on brownfield land
23 November 2016
The government’s new register and its plans to earmark £2bn for building on brownfield land suggest regeneration, rather than opening up the green belt for development, will be a priority.
The government first announced it would launch its brownfield register in March this year with 73 councils across England picked to pilot the scheme by creating their own individual registers, which will be used to help councils develop on brownfield sites.
The government will enable planning permission in principle for housing developments on sites listed in the pilot brownfield registers. This was introduced as part of the government’s Housing and Planning Bill, which came into force in May this year.
The government has also said that it wanted to have planning permission in place on 90% of suitable brownfield land by 2020, with the registers helping to benchmark its progress. Since then, the government has reaffirmed its stance on brownfield land, with £2bn of funding earmarked for a new Accelerated Construction fund, which is aimed at speeding the delivery of new homes on publicly owned brownfield land.
In total, 51 areas across 58 councils – with some joint bids – have been picked to go on the pilot brownfield register scheme, with each receiving £10,000 in funding to establish their own registers. Of the 51 local areas, 15 were picked for the pilot scheme because they have the most brownfield land, with the remaining 36 having to bid for the funding on a competitive basis.
60% of new housing by Hull City Council is proposed on brownfield land, a target directly informed by the register. The council has also taken the approach of packaging brownfield sites together to make developments more commercially viable and better quality in the long term. This approach makes the land more attractive to invest in for the council and for developers as areas that have a negative land value, packaged with land where there is positive land value, will cross-subsidise each other.
The register should assist a number of councils and developers with working together to make best use of brownfield land and continue tackling the UK’s housing shortage.
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Article source – Construction News