The Brownfield Land Register is open: will it help deliver houses?


Following consultation between February and April 2016 the Government has now passed regulations introducing from 16 April 2017 a duty on local planning authorities to prepare and maintain a register of ‘previously developed land’ as defined in Annex 21 of the NPPF  and which meets:


(i)      specified criteria ( e.g. that the land is capable of supporting at least 5 dwellings or is at least 0.25 hectares , is suitable and available for residential development and such development is achievable) (part 1 register), and

(ii)     which the planning authority has decided to allocate for residential development and none of the exemptions available apply, e.g. that the land would be subject to an EIA  (part 2 register)


Note that before entering such land in the part 2 register the procedures for publicity, notification and consultation set out in the regulations must have been followed.


The register has to be published by 31 December 2017 and the register is to be reviewed annually. Sites listed in these registers can be counted towards the local authority’s five year housing supply.


The local planning authorities are required to have regard to the development plan, national policy and guidance when exercising their functions under the regulations.


Guidance has now been published (28 July 2017) on the  content of the registers but also see the Pilot Brownfield Register Manual which is a helpful place to start when compiling a brownfield register.


Further regulations then grant “permission in principle” for development of the land allocated in the part 2 register. This establishes whether a site is suitable in principle for residential development. A further “technical details consent” will be needed when the detailed development proposals are assessed. Including a site in Part 1 of the register does not automatically mean it will be granted “permission in principle”.


The intention of course is to encourage development on brownfield rather than greenfield sites and to give developers more certainty in relation to the principle of residential development taking place on these sites.


For further information please contact Ian Trehearne or Linda Fletcher.