Build a Road Through it – A Regeneration Fallacy

One of the greatest fallacies in regeneration is you first have to ‘build a road through’ large brownfield sites to open them up.

A cautionary tale. One of the largest brownfield sites in the west midlands. The Local authority had bought the site and decontaminated it. It used some of its government funding to build a road through the site to make it more ‘developable’.

This was a big mistake. Plots have to meet roads at the same level (gate levels). Plots have to be graded. Grading and roads need to drain. The site was far from level and a canal on one part of the site was a hard constraint. So the housebuilder had to spend large amounts on exotic engineering to grade the site significantly slowing delivery and harming viability. This could all have been avoided if the site’s access road had been designed in 3d as part of the overall masterplan.

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