Brownfield Registers and Permission in Principle
The government has released details of a new tool that allows councils to speed up development of derelict and underused land for new homes.
Gavin Barwell, Housing and Planning Minister, has announced that local authorities across England will now have to produce and maintain up-to-date, publicly available registers of brownfield sites available for housing. The new regulations stipulate that all local planning authorities must publish a brownfield land register before the end of 2017.
According to a government statement, the new registers are designed to assist housebuilders to identify suitable brownfield sites quickly to unlock land for “thousands of new homes“.
Mr Barwell stated: “We need to build more homes in this country so making sure that we re-use brownfield land is crucial. We want to bring life back to abandoned sites, create thousands more homes and help protect our valued countryside… These new registers will give local authorities and developers the tools to do this.”
In order to reduce the initial work for local planning authorities, the brownfield registers are set to be delivered in two parts. Part 1 will identify sites categorised as ‘previously developed land’, that also meet an extensive list of complex criteria relating to ‘suitability’ and ‘availability’ for new homes and the ‘achievability’ of the potential housing development. Sites identified in part 1 of the register that satisfy all of the criteria will then be entered into part 2 of the process.
A new, separate Order means that these sites will be granted ‘permission in principle’ for the housing-led development described in each individual entry. Once a part 2 site has permission in principle, and ‘technical details consent’ has subsequently been applied for and granted, the site is to be considered as having an implementable planning permission.
With the government’s intentions to use the brownfield registers as a mechanism for speeding up development on previously developed land, only time will tell if the process actually assists in any way.