However current planning policy doesn’t prioritise building new homes on brownfield land before building in the countryside. More needs to be done to use suitable sites in our towns and cities rather than forcing development into our precious green spaces.
To help us find out how much brownfield land is available and where it is, we launched the #WasteOfSpace campaign in July 2014 to raise awareness of the ‘brownfield first’ solution. We asked people to nominate brownfield sites near them that they felt should be used for housing in their area. We had a great response, receiving 400 nominations for our interactive map, which you can view below. You can see that the most nominations came from London and the south east, demonstrating that there is brownfield availability where demand for housing is highest.
Thank you for sending us your waste of space photos
Thank you to all of you that sent in nominations for the campaign. The map is now closed for nominations and we’re currently looking at following up the submissions and developing the next stage of our research on brownfield use.
More ways you can help
Although our map is now closed, fighting for the right housing in the right places is one of our main priorities for the Government. We also need your help now.
Find out all our latest news and how to get involved
Not all the brownfield sites identified through our waste of space campaign will be suitable for development for a variety of reasons, not least of which is protecting important biodiversity and habitats. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the existence of brownfield sites in general, and not to seek redevelopment of those sites in particular: that is correctly a matter for the relevant communities through local and neighbourhood planning processes, taking account of all relevant issues.
We recognise that using brownfield sites alone will not solve the housing crisis, but we should make every attempt to avoid destroying beautiful countryside - home to valuable plants and animals - when there are ugly and derelict sites, with little or no potential for supporting wildlife, left unused within our towns and cities. Building new homes on brownfield sites within or close to urban areas would also enable communities to make the most of existing infrastructure, rather than further endangering the natural environment through new projects.