Space for 1.3 million homes is being ignored

CPRE, the countryside charity, has reported that brownfield land in England could potentially accommodate over 1.3 million new homes – an increase of almost 10 per cent on 2020.

But with the proportion of brownfield plots with planning permission currently the lowest since records began, at just 44 per cent, the charity claims that these sites are not being prioritised, despite recent warm words from the government.

Instead, housing developers continue to target the countryside’s green fields, even as they become more vital than ever for tackling the climate and biodiversity crises.

CPRE is calling for new national planning policies to prioritise the recycling of land for housing. This approach could also allow areas like the West Midlands to enjoy huge economic and social benefits from the transformation of their derelict sites into quality homes – with space for nearly 100,000 in this region alone.

The report states that the best way to achieve this is to incorporate a comprehensive ‘brownfield first’ policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, to ensure suitable brownfield land is developed before any greenfield or Green Belt land is considered.

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