Campaigners call authorities to prioritise homes on brownfield sites

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 March 2019

The CPRE said 3,084 homes could be built in North Somerset. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The CPRE said 3,084 homes could be built in North Somerset. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Thousands of new homes could be built on derelict land in North Somerset, but tens of thousands of homes are earmarked for green spaces.

The Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE) has called on the Government to force councils to prioritise brownfield development over building on green spaces.

In North Somerset, there is a capacity to build 3,084 homes across 77 sites, all of which could be delivered in five years.

The CPRE analysed North Somerset Council’s Brownfield Land Register, which lists sites the council says are suitable for development.

A brownfield site refers to an area which has already been used for development.

While greenfield sites are areas which are used for agriculture, or landscape design, or left to evolve naturally.

The Joint Spatial Plan is looking to build more than 100,000 homes in the West of England – a quarter of which are planned for North Somerset.

The North Somerset developments will see mainly greenfield sites in Nailsea, Backwell, Churchill and Langford being developed on.

More than 120,000 potential new homes have been added to registers in England in the past year.

In North Somerset, 192 new homes were added last year and all were assessed as being deliverable within five years.

The brownfield sites now on the council’s register cover a combined 190 acres – the same as 126 football pitches.

Rebecca Pullinger, planning campaigner at the CPRE, said: “Building on brownfield land presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration.

“It will help to limit the amount of countryside lost to development, and build more homes in areas where people want to live, with infrastructure, amenities and services already in place.”

The Local Government Association said councils had already given hundreds of thousands of homes planning permission which had yet to be built.

The council recently rejected 220 homes on Backwell’s Farleigh Fields last year and is now considering a 66-home plan from Persimmon Homes in Yatton.

It would see houses built on an orchard which has provoked strong objections from campaigners.

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