According to CPRE The Countryside Charity, the UK has over 25,000 hectares of brownfield land across 21,000 sites. Many are run-down plots of land that represent all kinds of safety hazards and, when stuck in such poor condition for several years, they become a real blot on the landscape.
So what should all this land be used for?
That’s the exact question which Liverpool-based property development company, Romal Capital, recently put to the British public. The results of their national survey found that people have very clear ideas about brownfield development.
- 30% of people would most like to see cultural landmarks built on this kind of unused land.
- 29% said they want to see modern, efficient homes and communities built to help solve the nation’s ongoing housing crisis.
- For the regeneration of outdoor spaces, 26% favoured new recreational facilities.
Regardless of their exact preferences, people were overwhelmingly in favour of doing at least something with brownfield sites rather than leaving them as they stand. 74% of people described them as ‘eyesores’ and 77% said they felt regeneration can improve lives by bringing a sense of freshness, art and culture to an area.
In terms of what might be preventing such regeneration, 83% of participants in the survey felt the UK government has failed to prioritise regenerating brownfield sites in their area and 79% pointed to the length of time it takes for decisions to be made.
Romal Capital’s CEO, Greg Malouf commented:
“It’s great to see that people across the country want see their areas improved and repurposed. However, it is clear that speed is the issue more than ambition. Regeneration and planning have a lot of due process and extensive local bureaucracy, and it is this that needs to be restructured to get things going. Local authorities need more support and resources to streamline these processes and fast track regeneration of these sites.
“Many people are desperate for somewhere permanent to live and keen to see former industrial and undeveloped areas turned into new, progressive housing neighbourhoods and community hubs. The authorities must become far more proactive and flexible to allow this to happen.”
At Sheriff Construction and via our sister company, Limon Homes, the property development work we’ve been involved in has entirely focused on the development of underused brownfield sites.
We have carried out conversions on two run-down former public houses; regenerated and added housing units to an existing residential block; and are currently completing the conversion of an area that was once used for milliners workshops and hat factories into a private development of luxury apartments, houses and bungalows. See here for more details of this latest project.
With ambitions to grow our property development portfolio, we are in agreement with the results of this survey and support the call for fast track regeneration of brownfield sites. We have also acquired a number of further sites which are going through planning processes and welcome enquiries from genuine potential partners. Take a look at our property development page and get in touch if you’re interested in finding out more.
Feature image: Pexels