Regular readers of Advantage’s blog will have noticed that we write a lot about the different options available to deal with the shortage of affordable housing available in the UK. From prefabricated housing, to self-builds, to developing under-utilised small plots, to making use of the new government funding to create more social housing, we’ve looked at a host of different solutions to the nation’s housing shortage in recent months.
Of course the option to make better use of brownfield sites is not a new one, but with new research indicating that we could build a million new homes on this land, our forgotten, derelict spaces have been hitting the headlines this week.
As reported by the Independent this week: More than a million new homes could be built on land currently sitting unused across England, according to new analysis.
“Brownfield land”, which has previously been built on but is now derelict, could be transformed into vast swathes of housing within the next few years.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said such measures would regenerate run-down areas without destroying precious stretches of countryside to meet the UK’s housing needs.
We recently wrote about the government’s commitment to build more new homes. However, challenges including a shortage of modestly priced sites available to build on make constructing a high volume of truly affordable homes near to people’s workplaces and key amenities difficult. And this is where making better use of our brownfield sites may play an important role.
The Independent stated: Analysis performed by CPRE using data from Brownfield Land Registers identified over 18,000 sites on which new houses could be built with minimal impact on the environment.
It said two-thirds of this land was ready to be transformed, and could begin contributing to the country’s unmet housing needs within just five years.
“Building on brownfield presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration,” said Rebecca Pullinger, the CPRE’s planning campaigner.
However, campaigners say they’re concerned current definitions of “previously developed land” are not comprehensive enough, meaning there could still be a large number of sites being overlooked. This may mean that brownfield sites could play an even larger role in helping to solve housing shortages than currently thought.
We’ll be back soon with more construction-related news (and almost certainly a few more thoughts from the Advantage team regarding the most innovative and interesting options for meeting the nation’s housing needs over the coming years).
Want to learn more? Contact one of our relationship managers today to discuss your requirements on 0845 900 3969