Proposed Changes to NPPF

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published a Summary of Consultation Responses, question 7 has particular relevance to brownfield development.

“Question 7. Do you consider that it would be beneficial to strengthen policy on development of brownfield land for housing? If not, why not and are there any unintended impacts that we should take into account?

Total number of responses 899; Organisational 588; Personal 211.

The majority of respondents were broadly supportive of proposals to strengthen policy on development of brownfield land for housing, and some called for the Government to reintroduce a policy requiring brownfield land to be developed before greenfield land. However, many also expressed concern at the possible unintended consequences about the Government’s proposed approach.

Respondents felt that it was important: i) to retain local determination in order to ensure policy is applied within the context of the local market conditions; ii) that brownfield sites should only be considered as suitable for development where they have adequate access to services and amenities; iii) that they can be retained for employment purposes in circumstances where there is a demonstrable need; and iv) that the delivery of housing on brownfield land should not be to the detriment of affordable housing provision. Other respondents felt that brownfield sites can be environmentally sensitive, and that there is a need to ensure that the planning process affords appropriate weight to this aspect. They also considered that inclusion of sites on the brownfield register should not override other policy considerations.

Some respondents felt that existing policy was adequate to bring forward brownfield land for development, while others expressed concern about the viability of brownfield sites and suggested that financial incentives should be considered to make brownfield more attractive to developers. Some respondents also expressed concern about the relationship between permission in principle and the brownfield register.”