The National Federation of Builders (NFB) wants local authority decision makers to look at how they can use their mapping tool more effectively to identify more brownfield sites to alleviate the UK’s housing shortage.
The NFB works to support local authorities to address the housing crisis by successfully getting developments started. It is on a mission to improve how the mapping tool is deployed in order to gain a more accurate picture of site availability and capacity.
The NFB has flagged that local authorities are simply assuming that the data suggesting one million homes can be built is accurate and that the mapping tool is producing results based on out of date local plans.
NFB Chief executive, Richard Beresford 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.”
Across Britain to date, approximately a total of 27,700 hectares comprising 17,000 brownfield sites have been mapped to potentially accommodate in excess of 961,000 new homes. However, the NFB has raised the point that in Horley, Surrey, for example, accurate plans show that a local authority car park has the capacity for 30 new homes, whilst continuing to provide parking for local residents, shoppers, businesses and commuters.
In Brighton out of 162 brownfield sites only 12 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. Actual up-to-date findings reveal a total of 300 sites in the area, which offer the potential for 22,194 new homes to be constructed.
Rico Wojtulewicz, senior policy advisor at the House Builders Association (HBA) said: “There are even more brownfield sites that have not been covered, 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.”