The National Housing Federation (NHF) has identified and mapped more than 17,000 brownfield sites, totalling around 27,700 hectares, which could provide space for more than 961,000 homes.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) thinks that this tool has the potential to help tackle the housing crisis, when applied on a wider scale. The NFB, however, would urge commentators and decision makers to use this tool to better understand the challenges posed by the housing crisis, rather than assuming it shows nearly a million homes can be delivered.
In Brighton, only 12 out of 162 identified brownfield sites are publicly owned, equating to a minimum of 773 homes.
In Sheffield, the local authority could deliver up to 6,310 homes on 81 publicly-owned brownfield sites. A total of 300 sites have been identified in the region, which could see 22,194 new homes constructed.
The tool also uses data from out-of-date local plans. For example, in Horley (Surrey), a car park owned by the local authority has the potential to deliver 30 homes, despite serving residents, high street shoppers, commuters and local businesses.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said:
“This tool is another example of the private sector rising to the housing challenge. It may not give the full brownfield story, but it serves as a reminder that local authorities must do more to enable development within our existing communities.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, senior policy advisor of the House Builders Association (HBA), added:
“There are a large number of brownfield sites not included in this tool, as well as sites that are not deliverable. Mapping them helps the entire housing supply chain understand how complex land ownership and sites allocations really are.”