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Campaign to Protect Rural England claims sufficient brownfield sites are available for over 1.1m new homes

Published: Thursday, 10th November 2016

New research incorporating data from the brownfield register, calculates that suitable brownfield sites can provide between 1.1 and 1.4 million new homes across England…

New research published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has claimed that suitable brownfield sites across England can provide at least 1.1 million new homes.

The research, which used the government’s own pilot brownfield register scheme, calculated that suitable brownfield sites can provide between 1.1 and 1.4 million new homes.

CPRE studied the findings of 53 councils that have published their data on suitable sites, and found that these areas alone could provide 273,000 homes.

Comparing this new data with the last available data from 2010-2012, CPRE noted an 11 per cent increase in the number of homes that could be provided on suitable sites, with planning permissions for such sites increasing by 21 per cent and the number of suitable sites being identified by 50 per cent.

Applying the same 11 per cent increase to the 2010-2012 figures for the whole country gave a new estimated minimum capacity of 1.1 million homes on suitable brownfield sites, CPRE insisted.

It also noted that the study of the 53 pilot registers produced a figure of 273,000 that was both higher than previous government estimates of countrywide brownfield housing capacity, and almost enough for the participating councils to meet their five-year housing targets without releasing any countryside for development.

CPRE chief executive Shaun Spiers said: “We need to build good, affordable homes quickly in the right places. No one is suggesting that we will be able to provide all the homes we need without ever building on a greenfield site.

“But the government needs to do much more to reconcile its commitment both to build a million homes and to protect the countryside, including the green belt it recently described as ‘sacrosanct’.”

Roger Milne