An Assessment of Whether Brownfield Land Can Provide the Answer to the UK’s Housing Shortage

Fishwick, Peter (2016) An Assessment of Whether Brownfield Land Can Provide the Answer to the UK’s Housing Shortage. [Dissertation]

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"The regeneration of brownfield land is crucial. Within the North West over the past 5 years, there is a demand gap of 38,340 homes. With correct implementation on such land, the NW housing market can provide a sustainable re-use that will answer this crisis. The main aim of the study was to identify what barriers exist in execution of brownfield regeneration and what role the housing industry plays in this, in the NW region.
To achieve the above aims there was a need to carry out important investigation on the NW house building market via a quantitative methodology. Companies were chosen via UCLAN’s FAME database and the UK House Builders Directory. The questionnaire itself consisted of binary, likert scale and tick box option questions. Collection was achieved via the use of the online survey program Survey Monkey, and analysed via descriptive statistics and cross tabulation in SPSS. Out of 250+ questionaries’ sent out, the response rate was a maximum of 8.9%.
A literature review of past research was conducted to help partially answer the research objectives. The main findings of which initially included the significance of brownfield redevelopment, as Brandon Lewis (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2015) stating the Government identifies that the protection of greenbelt and greenfield land is paramount. Although this is contradicted by the introduction of the NPPF 2012 what provided guidance on relaxing these restrictions and opened up greenfield land for development. (Adams et al., 2001) took research further by stating how the significance included social benefits.
The next stage of the literature review identified the main barriers of brownfield development. These are mainly highlighted by (Sinnett et al., 2014) who stated the main barrier categories included planning, market and site conditions. Finally the role of the housing industry was assessed showing what levels of responsibility they have within the process. With a government target of 90% of homes being built on brownfield land by 2020 - (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2015) the role of the industry to meet the housing gap stated above, is paramount.
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Finally the significant findings in chapter 4 brought up new research that was previously unknown and provided contradicting evidence to that was is in the literature review. The extent of brownfield development in the region was assessed at 81.81% of companies being involved, compared to 94% nationally. Issues that were once seen as barriers (developers compiling land banks and land contamination) were found not to be barriers. To add to this the rate of development has been seen to have increased over the past 5 years, with the trend set to continue, predominantly due to Government policy improvements. Despite this, post remediation remained a barrier of implementation, as did a lack of knowledge on alternative remediation technologies despite 77.27% of companies stating they had used such technologies. "

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