Question 10

Why aren’t you using Brownfield sites for housing?

Government planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework ( NPPF) is clear that local plans should prioritise the development of previously developed or ‘brownfield’ sites before considering the development of areas of countryside (‘greenfield’ sites.) However, the NPPF also requires local plans to make sufficient provision for new development to meet identified needs. This applies to housing, employment and other needs. As part of the evidence base of any emerging Local Plan, a Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA) is developed. This identifies the theoretical potential for land to be developed to meet future development needs in the Borough and assesses that potential in terms of the suitability, availability and deliverability of all sites that are identified. Sites are put forward for consideration in the SLAA by developers, landowners and site promoters as well as being identified by council officers.

While there is brownfield land in the Borough, much of the available brownfield land is required to meet future employment needs and is in locations not suitable for residential development (for example, because it is located within an existing industrial area.) As noted above, local plans have to make provision to meet identified needs for all forms of development; not just housing. Creating new jobs for current and future residents is as important as meeting housing targets. It is Council policy that Brownfield sites are considered first, but the reality is that there are not enough left in the Borough to meet local housing need into the future.