Turn new brownfield funding into affordable, quality rural homes, we say

25th October 2021

CPRE, the countryside charity, welcomes the news that the government is pledging almost £2bn for homes to be built on derelict or previously-used land and calls for a new low-carbon, high-quality homebuilding revolution.

It’s expected that the budget announcement due on 27 October will include a new sum dedicated to investment in new homes built on brownfield sites in England – a move that we at CPRE have been calling for for many years.

We’re delighted to see this promising step towards a brownfield-first approach, where previously-used land that isn’t ecologically sensitive can be prioritised over greenfield.

We explain what we want to see happen next after this campaign success and important government commitment.

‘Sure-fire way to build back better’

Tom Fyans, CPRE’s deputy chief executive, has welcomed the investment news, saying that making proper use of this brownfield land is ‘one sure-fire way to help build back better.’

And we’re delighted to see a win for the many rural campaigners who have added their voice to ours in calling for better use of land. As Tom says, ‘This investment is a huge win for communities and countryside campaigners up and down the country who have long been calling for more well-located homes they can afford.’

'This investment is a huge win for communities and countryside campaigners up and down the country.'
Tom Fyans, CPRE deputy chief executive

Now we’re looking to see the many, many brownfield sites that we know exist used for truly affordable housing that’s good for the planet.

‘A no-brainer’

CPRE research has shown that there’s space for over a million new homes on these previously-used or derelict sites already – and that many of them already have planning permission.

As Tom says, ‘It really is a no-brainer that these sites, many of which are located in the north and Midlands, are put at the front of the queue for development to realize the government’s leveling up ambitions.’

The government committed to ‘building back better’ following the coronavirus pandemic, and for us, nothing says building back better than investing in brownfield land.

'We’re urging the government to turn this funding pledge into well-designed, low carbon homes.'
Tom Fyans

Now we want to see the government turn this pledge into spending on the right kinds of homes.

Tom says: ‘We’re urging the government to turn this funding pledge into well-designed, low carbon homes that local people can afford with no delay.’

Support new CPRE research on brownfield

CPRE, the countryside charity, produces research on the state of brownfield across England with the latest instalment due in November 2021. Tom says that we ‘look forward to working with the government to drive up build-out rates of genuinely affordable and low carbon homes on brownfield sites.’

Want to be a part of helping us fund this detailed, expert research and calling for a brownfield-first approach? Join the movement as a member now, or make a one-off or regular donation. Thank you for your support.

A run-down house behind bright blue hoardings with a sign for development
A brownfield site waiting for development in Norfolk Joe Blossom / Alamy