Just like a large number of my contacts and colleagues, planning has always been seen as a door that is difficult to push open. We shouldn’t be afraid to build on Brownfield sites and certainly there are the skills and companies in the UK who can turn sites into wonderful places to live

I spent 9 glorious years at Bellway Regeneration in the nineties redeveloping inner city sites that no one wanted to touch. The efforts of that Division today still stand as testament to what you can do, when Government, both local and National work with the major providers of housing in the UK.

The issue today is the willingness to undertake these schemes and I would suggest that is more to do with experience at both a Developers and Consultants level. Spending time on a computer modelling schemes and designing is only part of the requirements. A very good friend of mine in his late fifties and a leading light in my area is currently closing out a scheme, he and his team designed by Project Managing the on site activities.

So get your work boots on spend time on site and actively look to redevelop our inner Cities, you don’t need to redevelop Farmer Giles fields, just have an imagination and a desire to transform. Just for reference a few of the schemes I have worked on are; Victoria Dock Hull, Royal Keys Newcastle, Hulme Regen Manchester and Bordesley Village Birmingham and most recently as a contractor Broughton in Salford with Countryside. Finally a snap shot of what’s available to build on and with the current changes hopefully being approved. A great paper issued last Century(Sounds quite odd to say that!) was “Making Places” and forwarded by John Prescott, probably ahead of its time looking back

Summary of key points with regards Brown field developments:

There are around 18,000 brownfield sites across England covering 25,500 hectares of land. The combined development potential across these sites indicates that it would be possible to develop about one million net additional homes on all brownfield sites in England.

12% of brownfield sites are in public ownership while 61.8% are not in public ownership. There is also a significant proportion (22.6%) where ownership has not been recorded.

59% of brownfield sites have been granted planning permission. 37% of sites are not permissioned and 3% have a planning decision pending. 96% of brownfield land is located outside greenbelt land. However, there are 798 brownfield sites on greenbelt land with a development potential of around 26,000 additional homes.

In terms of net additional homes, London has a disproportionate potential for brownfield development. 25% of all net additional homes on brownfield sites in England (around 263,000 potential homes) are located in London.

87% of all brownfield sites are located in urban areas and 13% in rural areas. The ratio is 90% to 10% in terms of net additional homes. The combined authorities North East, Tees Valley, Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Sheffield City Region, West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and West of England have a total of 5,691 brownfield sites and a development potential of around 355,000 net additional homes, which represents just over a third of total development potential on all brownfield sites in England.

The briefing also provides tables on the number, the size (in hectares) and the minimum net additional dwellings that could be built for all local (planning) authorities and for all Westminster constituencies.