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Brownfield sites


Denise Lloyd
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CPRE are compiling a countrywide map of brownfield sites suitable for development.  If when you are out and about over the next few days and spot a suitable site please could you let the CPRE know.  

Out & about this weekend? If you spot a derelict site we can add to our brownfield #WasteOfSpace map, let us know!

 

As you are all no doubt aware developers are currently targeting precious greenfield sites for housing developments but CPRE are certain that there are many suitable brownfield sites that should be developed before losing precious greenfields.  Once the information is gathered they will present their info to the government.   

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Local Authorities should be doing this anyway - it's part of the statutory requirement for a 5 year housing plan. Herefordshire Council doesn't have one (yet). They do have lots of highly paid planning officers responsible for failing to produce one in a timely manner. In addition, they are now paying expensive consultants to do the work the highly paid officers have failed to do, whilst the highly paid officers continue in their highly paid jobs. In the meantime, developers are grabbing greenfield sites and there is nothing we can do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Don't see this working in Herefordshire. Councils have to bid to set up new housing zones across the country. There are hopes this scheme will help build up to 200,000 new homes. To receive funding, councils need to consult on a local development order on the land.

 

We've got lots of very small parcels of brownfield land - petrol stations for instance - but none that would merit a 'housing zone' - I guess that is aimed at huge abandoned industrial complexes, such as Longworth was. If the Inco Alloys site ever fell empty, that would probably qualify. But what would these zones achieve that the planning system doesn't already? Unsurprisingly, the government's announcement doesn't say. If it means Council's push developers to brownfield sites and refuse greenfield sites, their Section 106 income stream will plummet, and they won't like that. Remember, our Council think they can build an entire bypass from developer contributions from allowing building on greenfield, grade 1 agricultural land ...

 

What is really needed is not yet more hand outs to Councils to waste on meetings, but tax breaks and incentives directly to the developers willing to take on these sites. On-costs on contaminated sites are both massive and time consuming to deal with.

 

The whole VAT issue on construction is a complete mess - this is what the government should be looking at. Take it off works to existing buildings (extensions, listed buildings, conversion to dwellings) and put it on new houses, which themselves could then be exempt if on a brownfield site. Mmm, not that hard to work that one up ...

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This is a very difficult issue which every LA has to tackle. Do we ignor government dictat because the Council does not want to upset local people, and let developers come in and build where they like, or do we designate greenfield sites and have some control over developers? Not easy. There is not enough brown field sites for development across the county and some of these would be challenged by local people if there was a large development.

 

The proposed 1000 homes to be built at Bullingham worries me a great deal; only two ways out of the proposed estate for vehicles, one up the Rotherwas Access road to the A49 then down Ross Road the othe down the Access Road to Holme Lacy Road! More traffic at the StMartins Church Junction, let alone additional vehicles travelling through two large housing estates. A small shop is planned plus a school.

 

If it has to go ahead, I want to ensure our planners have all the options open to them through the local plan, so that the Councillors for the area, can get planners make the developers provide highway improvements needed to take the extra traffic.

 

To be fair it is not the planning officers fault the five year housing plan has not been adopted yet. across the county Councillors have echoed the views of their constituents, most of who do not want extra housing in suggested areas but can not come up with suitable alternatives with division amoung themselves, so no agreement about plan. Time to take plan by scruf of neck and let Pickles do his worse!

Meanwhile we need to encourage home building on brown field sites, at least one in my Ward is being challenged by local people! As I said not easy.

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