Government plans to unlock more brownfield land for new homes

The government has announced new measures to speed up the development of derelict and unused land for new homes.

Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said local authorities across the country will have to produce and maintain up-to-date, publicly available registers of brownfield sites.

The new registers will help housebuilders identify sites quickly, helping to unlock land for thousands of new homes.

Communities will also be able to highlight local derelict or underused building sites that are suitable for redevelopment.

Mr Barwell said: “We need to build more homes in this country so making sure that we re-use brownfield land is crucial. We want to bring life back to abandoned sites, create thousands more homes and help protect our valued countryside.

“These new registers will give local authorities and developers the tools to do this.”

Brownfield registers were first piloted in 2016, when 73 local planning authorities across the country pioneered the measures.

In addition, the £3 billion Home Builders Fund will be used to support the development of brownfield sites, with an additional £1.2 billion provided to unlock at least 30,000 Starter Homes on brownfield land.

The government has also introduced a new way of obtaining planning permission through these new registers.

‘Permission in principle’ will simplify the planning process for developers, giving them more certainty over whether a site is suitable for development ahead of working up costly proposals to obtain full planning permission. This is designed to encourage new development and increase the amount of land available to build on.

Further legislation will follow this year to roll-out ‘permission in principle’ more widely through the planning system.

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