Planning reforms: An opportunity for brownfield development?

October 20, 2020

RSK Geosciences Director Mark Steward featured in the ENDS Report discussing the impact of the UK government’s latest planning reforms on brownfield development.

A new consultation document and white paper, Planning for the future, was published on 6 August and “stressed the ‘intensification and densification of brownfield land, regeneration of former commercial sites and under-used sites such as car parks’ to help deliver new nationally-set housing targets,” notes the ENDS Report.

With local plans set to be refocused to identify three types of land and extensions to the existing ‘permission in principle’ (PIP) regime, the article questions whether this could amount to a step change in the number of brownfield sites entering the development pipeline and draws on expert opinions from environmental consultants in the area of brownfield land remediation.

“Mark Steward, a director of geosciences consultancy RSK, said that a move towards a more zonal planning system could be significant for brownfield development,” the article notes. “He said that, if new councils can designate large greenfield sites currently attractive to developers under the new ‘Protected’ designation, this could ‘push development onto brownfield sites’.”

Mark added, “as long as councils can capture brownfield sites in growth areas, it will drive development onto brownfield and there will be more opportunities for remediation.”

Subscribers can read the article in full on The ENDS Report website.