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Future of housing lies in brownfield development says government 30th October 2014

Greenfield siteOver two thirds of all homes are to be built on brownfield land as a result of reforms to the planning system, according to figures published by the Homes and Communities agency.

This follows on from new guidance issued by the government to councils on how to use Local Plans to protect their local countryside against urban sprawl, particularly greenfield land surrounding towns and cities.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: "This government has been very clear that when planning for new buildings, protecting our precious green belt is paramount. Local people don’t want to lose their countryside to urban sprawl, or see towns and cities lost to unnecessary development.

"We have put Local Plans at the heart of the reformed planning system, so councils and local people can now decide where development should and shouldn’t go.

"Support for new housing is growing, because communities welcome development if it is built in the right place and does not ignore their needs. That’s why planning permission for 230,000 homes was granted by councils in the last year alone, while official statistics show that green belt development is at its lowest rate since modern records began in 1989."

The role that Councils will play in proposing brownfield land will be crucial and they have been given a deadline of 2020 by which time they are expected to meet a government target of over 90 per cent of permissions in place for new housing on brownfield sites. 

In London, 20 new housing zones will receive £400 million government and Greater London Authority funding.

Outside London, ten zones will benefit from £200 million of additional government funding.

The government also wants councils to consider how they will protect and preserve important sites in their area, such as green belt and sites of special scientific interest, areas of outstanding natural beauty, heritage coastline and national parks.

Written by Richenda Oldham

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