At least one million homes could be built on brownfield sites, offering a significant opportunity for self and custom build projects, an investigation has shown.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) recently revealed that 17,656 plots already identified by planning authorities would provide enough space for a minimum of 1,052,124 homes, with two-thirds of them deliverable within five years.
The term brownfield refers to previously developed land, including sites formerly used for industrial, commercial or even agricultural purposes. Since April 2017, local authorities have been required to keep brownfield registers, providing up-to-date and publicly available information on brownfield land suitable for housing.
Areas of England with the highest concentration of this type of plot include London (potential for 267,859 homes), the North West (160,785) and the South East (132,263).
Brownfield sites could offer a more affordable alternative for developers and self-builders. Making such land available for housing could also fulfil three years’ worth of government housing targets.
Planning campaigner Rebecca Pulling said the findings show government estimates of brownfield potential had been “wide of the mark”.
She added: “Contrary to what the government, and other commentators have said, brownfield sites are also available in areas with high housing pressure. Indeed, our analysis is conservative with its estimates of potential number of homes that could be built – the figure could much higher if density is increased and if more registers looked at small sites.”