In 1998, the UK Government set a national target for at least 60 per cent of new housing to be built on previously developed land or through conversions by 2008. This target was reached eight years early.
In 2005, 77% of homes were built on previously developed land or through conversions, according to Government figures (1)
Research, published 27 February 2007, (2) by CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, shows that "a vast amount of land within towns and cities crying out for development is going to waste." In the light of these achievement and the findings of their research, CPRE is calling for the national target to be increased to at least 85%.
CPRE argue that under changes to planning rules (3) councils face far more pressure to allocate land for housing than they did in the past. For example the South East Regional Planning Assembly (SEERA) has expressed concern about the new rules which prevent councils from relying on unexpected ‘windfall’ sites when planning where new homes will be built. They fear this will lead to greenfield land being developed for housing unnecessarily. (4) But, say CPRE, most have a choice: to either allow significantly more greenfield development or take steps to ensure that underused or abandoned land and buildings are re-used and recycled wherever possible.
- Land Use Change Statistics, January update 2007, DCLG.
- Untapped Potential: identifying and delivering residential development on previously developed land, CPRE, Febraury 2007
- The Government’s Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3), published in December 2006, comes into force on April 1.
- Sera news release, Government creates greenfield grab for new homes.