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Brownfield sites are way ahead, government tells developers

MORE BROWNFIELD land is set to become available for development according to government figures.

The statistics show that an estimated 66,000ha of previously developed land is available, of which 28,000ha (43%) is earmarked for housing.

This could provide 920,000 dwellings. More than half of the previously developed land - 36,000ha - is vacant or derelict.

The government's target is for 60% of developments to be built on brownfield land and through building conversions by 2008. The figures, provided by the National Land Use Database, show that shortage of land is no obstacle to exceeding this target.

'We have put urban brownfield planning policies first, now the challenge is for local authorities and house builders, ' said planning minister Jeff Rooker.

'We also have a responsibility to protect our greenfields and open spaces. More brownfield sites takes pressure away from local authorities and house builders to develop the green belt.

This is the planning system working for the benefit of everyone.' To help clarify the debate, Ciria has launched a Clients' guide to building on brownfield sites to outline the benefits of building on brownfield sites.

Advantages include tax returns of up to 150%, landfill exemptions and financial support from redevelopment agencies. The guide also helps construction clients deal with legal, financial and technical issues when building on brownfield sites.

To coincide with the launch, Ciria is holding a free seminar on 17 October, entitled You can build on brownfield sites - don't miss out on the benefits. For further details on the guide and seminar contact Ciria, tel: 020 7222 8891 or email: enquiries@ciria. org. uk

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