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What is brownfield land and can you develop new homes on it?

For years now, the UK government has been pushing for more and more developers to make use of brownfield land. This is land that has been previously built on – whether it’s been past houses, shops, schools or even parks.

It seems to be the sparkling solution to tackle the housing crisis without sprawling onto British scenery.

At NFC Homes, we have enough expertise behind us to know that brownfield land is a great investment on which to be able to build new homes, which is why our team have created this article. We want to be able to guide you through the process of what brownfield land is, how it differs from greenfield land, and whether or not you can develop new houses on it.

What is brownfield land vs greenfield land?

Brownfield and greenfield land are two terms that are used in conjunction with one another. As we covered in the introduction, brownfield land is a site that has previously been developed. Greenfield land, however, is an undeveloped land site typically used as paddock land or for agricultural purposes.

It's important to note that greenfield land is not the same as the protected land located within the greenbelt, so greenfield land is usually not subject to the same protection laws.

Should I develop new properties on brownfield or greenfield land?

The development of land using a brownfield site may be more practical than greenfield land, since it's generally easier to obtain planning permission for brownfield sites.

Additionally, developing land on brownfield sites reduces the rate of urban sprawl, and also comes with an increased likelihood of having established infrastructure present and/or close by.

Do I need planning permission to be able to build on brownfield land?

To be able to build on brownfield land, you will need to seek planning permission from the appropriate governing body. However, as mentioned earlier, you are a lot more likely to gain planning permission if it’s brownfield land that you’re intending on using.

This is because the government is backing the use of brownfield land over greenfield, and sources show that they have pledged to use around £400 million to aid the use of construction on brownfield land as opposed to greenfield land.

How do I apply for planning permission on brownfield land?

After reading this, you may think that gaining planning permission on brownfield land is a simple task. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Government planning parties have their own rules of regulations that your proposals must adhere to before they’ll be approved, and this can be rather difficult in itself.

Gaining planning permission can be difficult as you have to bear in mind all the small details of your development process.

How are vehicles supposed to access the land? How much contamination will the local surrounding area be faced with as a result of your development? Is your development imposing on the heritage of the area you wish to build within? Is the noise coming from your development exceeding local levels?

It's questions like this that can be hard to manoeuvre. Not only this, but the waiting time to hear back from authoritative bodies, along with the financial burden involved, can be the tipping point for some developers.

Is there any other way?

You may be wondering now if there’s another way in which to acquire planning permission to build on brownfield land. At NFC Homes, we’re experts in the field and have the know-how to be able to navigate the minefields of planning permission to be able to build on brownfield land.

By selling your land to a developer, you won't have to deal with the endless stacks of paperwork and can move on hassle-free with a payment based on land valuations.

How to value your brownfield land

Before passing on your brownfield land to a developer, you may want to enquire about a land valuation to ensure that you’re getting the best possible price. Our experts can help you to do this.

For more information on how brownfield land differs to greenfield land, and to find out whether or not your land is suitable for development, contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.


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