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Derelict and underused land for new homes brought forward

Pioneering councils are to help lead the way in bringing forward derelict and underused land for new homes.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced today that 73 councils across England will pilot one of the new brownfield registers, which will provide house builders with up-to-date and publically available information on all brownfield sites available for housing locally.

The construction of new homes will be sped up, with registers that will help housebuilders identify suitable sites quickly.

They will also allow communities to draw attention to local sites for listing, including in some cases derelict buildings and eyesores that are primed for redevelopment and that could attract investment to the area.

The government has pledged to get planning permission in place on 90% of suitable brownfield sites for housing. Today’s move ramps up the brownfield land building commitment.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “A key part of our ambition to build 1 million homes is to get work started on brownfield sites across the country – many of which are currently nothing more than blight on a community’s landscape.

“These councils will be at the forefront of these efforts to list land and encourage builders to deliver new homes for aspiring homeowners.

“But this is just the first step and I would urge councils to continue to offer up brownfield sites to deliver the homes their residents want and need.”

Registers will eventually become mandatory for all councils under proposals going through Parliament in the Housing and Planning Bill.

Other measures in the Housing and Planning Bill will enable ‘permission in principle’ to be granted for housing-led development sites listed on the new brownfield registers. This will mean developers building new homes on brownfield land will have a greater degree of certainty in relation to location, use and the amount of development.

A total of 15 councils with most brownfield land taking part in the brownfield register pilot project are Cherwell, County Durham, Huntingdonshire, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Medway, Newcastle upon Tyne, Peterborough, Selby, Sheffield, South Cambridgeshire, Sunderland, Tonbridge and Malling and Wigan. They were identified in the final complete publication of National Land Use Database statistics.

A further 36 areas made up of 58 councils (some bids are joint) were selected on a competitive basis.