HOUSING – Pickles promises a better use of brownfield sites
Up to 75,000 homes are to be built in 30 new “housing zones” across England after George Osborne announced £400m of funding. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, writing in the Telegraph, says that there is enough brownfield land in Britain to build 200,000 new homes. He comments that the UK has been facing a serious housing shortage, and supply has got to be increased in line with demand. He explains that he is determined to do so without building unnecessarily on undeveloped land and proposes the better use of brownfield sites. He highlights plans to consult on a package of proposals including converting former warehouse and industrial space into new homes for families, this summer, and to work with councils to get brownfield land ready for housing as soon as possible. James Kirkup, in the paper, says that the focus on brownfield sites has pleased former critics such as the National Trust, however, the Town and Country Planning Association expressed concern at the prospect of councils losing more power over development decisions.
It seems that those of us who have been trying to put the environment first may be getting through to Government but the big test locally is will Labour-led Sefton Council back off from it’s massive Green Belt house building plans?
With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.