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Building homes on derelict land at 5-year low

The proportion of new homes built on derelict and vacant land has fallen by 10% since 2014, bringing it to its lowest level over the past five years, according to an analysis of new government data by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

Fifty-three per cent of new homes were built on ‘brownfield land’ – land that has previously been built on, and now sits derelict or vacant – in 2018, new figures from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) show. This is down from 56% in 2017, 61% in 2016, 57% in 2015 and 59% in 2014.

The amount of brownfield land that has been redeveloped for new housing has also seen a significant decrease, falling from 2,628 hectares in 2017 to 1,758 hectares in 2018. In comparison, more than double the amount of farmland, forests, gardens and greenfield land was lost to housing over the same year, which, at 3,689 hectares, reached a five-year high.

This fall in housing developments on derelict and disused land comes despite findings from CPRE’s State of Brownfield 2019 report, published in March this year, demonstrating that there is space on suitable brownfield land for more than one million new homes.

The report also highlighted that through changes to the definition of ‘previously developed land’, and increasing the density of homes built on brownfield land, the true number of homes that could be built on brownfield sites could be much higher.

(Published by CPRE: 31 May 2019)