1/3rd attrition? Its normally 10-20%.
Brownfield land cannot be the only solution to the housing crisis simply because there is not enough of it to meet the huge projected demand for new places to live, the sponsors of a new report have concluded. According to The Gracechurch Group, so-called brownfield “super sites” should be targeted urgently to deliver the most homes and if that strategy proves inadequate then greenfield sites will offer the best way of meeting the country’s growing housing needs. The idea that councils do not need to release greenfield land for new homes is dispelled by the ‘Brownfield: The housing crisis solved?’ report, the group claimed. It compares the amount of brownfield land shown on new pilot brownfield registers created by local councils with the Government’s recently published estimate of housing need.
The pilot registers show that brownfield has the potential for 200,000 homes, net of normal planning attrition, yet the Government forecasts that 275,000 homes are needed in those areas over a five-year period, and 550,000 over ten years. Neil Lawson-May, joint chief executive at Palatium Investment Management, part of The Gracechurch Group, said: “The housing shortfall from brownfield is even greater than these numbers suggest. Brownfield is unevenly spread across the country and most brownfield is not in areas where there is high housing need. “In the pilot, only two regions have sufficient brownfield capacity to accommodate their five-year housing requirement once planning attrition has been factored in. Brownfield land can make a significant impact on the housing crisis, but it can’t solve it.” He said the registers offer hard evidence about brownfield availability which can help politicians and planning authorities explain to communities why greenfield land is needed for new homes. According to the report, four of the seven pilot authorities have a potential five-year brownfield land supply, before planning attrition is taken into account, including four in Yorkshire. Former industrial or commercial sites in Hull could meet local housing demand for 13.73 years, in Leeds for 11.57 years, in Sheffield for 9.56 years and in Selby for 7.54 years. But there is too little brownfield land in East Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire and Rotherham to meet five-year demands as they have sites that can only meet demand over 2.46, 3.85 and 3.48 years respectively. Some 67 of the 73 pilot local authorities have published their registers. In total, they identify 4,894 brownfield sites covering 12,960 hectares which could provide around 300,000 new homes, falling to 200,000 when a normal one-third attrition rate for the planning process is absorbed. Most brownfield sites are very small, the report states, suitable for 15 homes or less. This is a problem, Mr Lawson-May said. “The collapse of many small housebuilders during the credit crunch is a problem for developing small brownfield sites.” Just 25 sites on the registers could provide 22 percent of all brownfield homes and Mr Lawson-May said: “Supersites such as these should be targeted urgently and centrally to see if they are sustainable and if they are not, then it would be better to return them to nature and build on greenfield than spend many years debating their future.” The group said local people and interest groups should be invited to put forward sites for inclusion on brownfield registers, and be given an explanation as to why sites are not on the registers.