Funds are needed to tackle brownfield sites
lobby groups including the CIEH are calling for a rethink to building on
brownfield sites as political pressure grows to bolster the UK infrastructure.
recommendations are outlined in a new report A sustainable stimulus programmepublished by Smart Group a
national coalition pursuing sustainable communities.
is calling for the establishment of brownfield funds in England, Northern
Ireland, Wales and Scotland offering a mix of loans and capital grants for
brownfield housing work.
points out that while loans may work in areas where the value of brownfield
development provides a return for investors, grants must be made available
where land values to not provide developers with an incentive to remediate.
for a new funding stream has become particularly acute with the demise later
this year of contaminated land capital grant funding available to local
authorities for the identification and remediation of contaminated land. The
funding has been in terminal decline since 2013.
The report is picking up on cross party
agreement on the need for investment in infrastructure as an economic stimulant
in the UK’s post Brexit economy.
In the 2016
Autumn Statement chancellor Philip Hammond promised 1 to 2 per cent of GDP investment
every year from 2020 along with £23 billion over the next five years in a new
National Productivity Investment Fund.
government has also announced plans to set up a brownfield fund with further
details expected in the forthcoming housing white paper.
Treasure has finally accepted after many years that if you are going to
maximise housebuilding you are going to have to maximise brownfield house
building and that has been a big change in the last year,’ said the report
editor Jon Reed.
there has to be a grant element and they need to fund the difficult sites where
nobody is proposing to redevelop through Part 2A.’
Treasury has previously been resistant to brownfield encouraging building on
greenfield development. The sea change has been as a result of increased
pressure for more housing.
Price, CIEH principal policy officer and contributor to the report said: ‘It’s
become ever more apparent in recent years how relevant planning is to
environmental health and consequently, as planning departments have shrunk, how
important it is for EHPs to understand and support the planning process not
only at the level of individual decisions but strategically.’
also highlights the benefits that historic towns and sites can bring to
regeneration with historic site creating a stimulus to regeneration as well as
calling for investment in sustainable transport.
is an informal coalition of individuals and NGOs including the All Party
Parliamentary Light Rail Group, British Land Reclamation Society, CIEH,
Environmental Protection UK and Transport for Quality of Life.