Developing brownfield sites, industrial land which is now empty, could unlock more than £460bn worth of new housing, according to new research.
The government is already looking to develop these spaces, as part of its Levelling Up scheme, which will form part of its pledge to build 300,000 new homes each year to keep up with demand.
However, UK lead at Unlatch, Lee Martin has suggested that the government is not being quick enough with its regeneration.
London is home to the most available brownfield land, new-build sales platform Unlatch found, with capacity increasing by 22.6 per cent year-on-year – meaning there is space for 355,644 new homes in the capital alone.
With the average London new-build valued at £565,192 in today’s market, the redundant sites could add an eyewatering £200bn worth of housing to the city’s available real estate.
“Brownfield sites are the ideal place to build new homes. Unlike greenbelt land, brown sites do nothing to detract from the nation’s natural beauty or open spaces,” Martin explained.
“It’s little surprise, therefore, to see the government leaning heavily on these sites for their levelling up plans, but it doesn’t seem that they’ve yet put their plans into action because the amount of available brownfield land has actually increased.”
Speaking to the Levelling Up Committee yesterday, Conservative peer Lord Stephen Greenhalgh reiterated that the government is looking to brownfield sites for new housing, saying: “Regenerating new homes and left behind communities are central to our Levelling Up mission and we remain committed to our ambition of delivering 300,000 homes a year.
“We’ve made progress with more than two million additional homes being delivered since April 2010 and over 240,000 homes were delivered from April 2019 to March 2020, the highest level in over 30 years.”
“We need to find ways of coming up with new town projects, but to do that we do need the infrastructure, we do need the transport, we do need the roads, we do need the rail. And that’s why we recognise that a programme just to build homes is not enough.”