More homes built on brownfield land
More homes are being built on recycled or brownfield land, and at higher densities, according to figures published this week.The latest Land Use Change Statistics show 67% of all new dwellings in England were built on brownfield sites in both 2002 and 2003, compared with 56% in 1997. They also show new dwellings in England were built at an average density of 33 dwellings per hectare in 2003, compared to 27 dwellings per hectare in 2002.
Welcoming the figures, Planning and Housing Minister Keith Hill said: "These statistics back up our commitment to get more development on recycled sites and that means affordable homes for young families and key workers - where they need them most. As well as delivering more homes, these figures show we're using land more efficiently."
Mr Hill said that the south east and east had experienced a period of sustained economic growth which had not only created job opportunities for many, but also a greater need for teachers, nurses, fire fighters and police officers to have homes near where they work - not at the other end of the country.
"But, this does not mean we are concreting over the countryside - far from it. This Government's commitment and proactive approach to brownfield site development is helping to reinvigorate our town and city centres while protecting our countryside from needless urban sprawl."
He pointed out that there had been an extra 19,000 extra hectares of greenbelt created since 1997 and that the guidelines in the planning system are all designed to "stop unnecessary development and protect the English countryside for generations to come."
By David Hopkins