‘Build new homes on brownfield land', says Pickles
There is a sufficient amount of brownfield land in Britain to accommodate the construction of up to 200,000 new homes, according to the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
With the UK facing a chronic housing shortage, Mr Pickles said that he accepted the need to "increase supply in line with demand", but insisted that this should not come at the expense of Britain's undeveloped land, including greenbelt land, especially when there is so much brownfield land available across the country.
In a column he wrote for a national newspaper last week, Pickles noted: "We've always been a green and pleasant land: and we must stay that way, preserving the best of our countryside and other green spaces."
"I'm determined that we rise to that challenge without building unnecessarily on undeveloped land. The way to do that is to use brownfield better," he added.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government believes that it makes more sense to have new homes developed in existing urban areas, where people have easier access to jobs, shops, transport and other services.
He continued: "With careful management of public services and transport, existing residents benefit too, from regeneration and new investment in infrastructure.
"That's why our priority is - and always will be - building on brownfield land: land that has been previously developed. New figures show that there's enough of this land for 200 000 new homes across more than 5,000 hectares."