Space for 70,000 homes on brownfield sites

Kent has enough brownfield land for at least 70,000 new homes, according to a report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

The report, From wasted space to living spaces, identifies the capacity for at least one million new homes on suitable brownfield (previously developed) land in England. And of that, it is estimated that Kent has 1,600 hectares of brownfield sites which could accommodate at least 70,000 homes.

Much of this is in North Kent – in particular Dartford, with 669 hectares, and the Medway Towns with 127 hectares. But Dover also has 103 Hectares and Tonbridge and Malling 184 hectares.

Easter quarry Ebbsfleet, photo by Max Nathan

Easter quarry Ebbsfleet, photo by Max Nathan

“We have long been arguing for development to be focused on brownfield sites,” said CPRE Kent Senior Planner Brian Lloyd. “At a time when there is great pressure for growth, by building on brownfield we would protect our countryside, help avoid the loss of productive farmland and regenerate our towns and cities.”

The research was carried out by the University of the West of England with data collected from a survey of planning authorities. The researchers believe the one million homes figure is an underestimate because it only identifies land already derelict or with planning permission and does not include underused land, such as car parks.

Nearly half the vacant space is located in the south east, the east of England and London – the areas under the greatest stress.

“We want the Government to change its planning policy to prioritise brownfield sites over greenfield, “said Mr Lloyd. “There needs to be a proactive approach to identifying brownfield sites and more funding and incentives to develop large and difficult sites.”

To read the full report and appendices click here.

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