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More and better regeneration of brownfield land: March 26th

Sunday, 14 April 2019 16:22

CPRE’s public meeting, held in Manchester on March 26th, brought together, politicians, academics and members of the public to look for a consensus on how best to ensure that development is targeted on brownfield land where possible, as well as considering other ways to ensure best use of derelict land by greening if development is not appropriate.

Speakers included CPRE’s Chief Executive, Crispin Truman, Councillors Derek Long (leader of St Helens Council) and Paul Dennett (leader of Salford City Council), Professor Graham Haughton, and CPRE’s Jackie Copley and Rebecca Pullinger. Following introductions from each of the speakers, and an outline of the findings of CPRE’s recently released ‘State of Brownfield’ report, the panel each outlined their own position on the topic of freeing up brownfield for development, following which questions were asked from the floor on a number of topics.

CPRE’s ‘State of Brownfield’ report found that across the country, there is enough brownfield land available to build over a million new homes; for each brownfield site that is developed, a similar amount of land in the countrysided or Green Belt can be protected, so this is a vital, but sadly under-used resource. The figures for each area of Cheshire are listed in the table below.

Rebecca Pullinger, who carried out the research for CPRE, commented ‘Building on brownfield land presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration. It will help to limit the amount of countryside lost to development, and build more homes in areas where people want to live, with infrastructure, amenities and services already in place.
‘Councils have worked hard to identify space suitable for more than one million new homes. But until we have a brownfield first approach to development, and all types of previously developed land are considered, a large number of sites that could be transformed into desperately needed new homes will continue to be overlooked. The government, local councils and house builders must work hard to bring these sites forward for development and get building.’

In order to make best use of suitable brownfield land, CPRE is urging the government to introduce a genuine ‘brownfield first’ policy, which ensures that suitable previously developed or under-used land is prioritised for redevelopment over green spaces and countryside. Clearer definitions and guidelines must be given so that the registers act as a true pipeline, identifying all possible brownfield sites and recording their suitability for uses other than housing, including uses that protect the biodiversity or heritage value of sites where applicable.

Download the presentation from the day via the link below:

 

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