Greenfield, Brownfield, Previously Developed, Green Belt and soon Amberfield Land?

Greenfield land (or greenfield sites) is land that is not constrained by existing buildings or infrastructure.

This is as opposed to ‘brownfield land’ or ‘previously-developed land’ (PDL), ‘…which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.’ (ref Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) 2010).

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) encourages ‘…the effective use of land by reusing land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value…’

The Environment Agency suggests that, ‘Concentrating development on brownfield sites can help to make the best use of existing services such as transport and waste management. It can encourage more sustainable lifestyles by providing an opportunity to recycle land, clean up contaminated sites, and assist environmental, social and economic regeneration. It also reduces pressure to build on greenfield land and helps protect the countryside.’ (ref Environment Agency: Position Paper 2003).

Developers and designers can sometimes instinctively prefer the idea of building on a greenfield site as it can offer a ‘blank canvas’ with fewer constraints and potentially lower costs. However,greenfield sites can come with their own problems, offering few drivers to steer the design in a particular direction, access issues and poor connectivity as well as difficulties with utilitiessupply, and greater exposure to the elements. They can also result in a loss of amenity land, ecological habitats, biodiversity and agricultural land.

Land that has been developed, is only very rarely reverted back to greenfield land.

Greenfield sites should not be confused with ‘green belts’. Green belts establish a buffer zone between urban and rural land, separating town and country and preserving land for forestry, agriculture and wildlife where environmental conditions can be improved and conservation encouraged. Greenfield sites need not be within a green belt.

NB in 2014, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggested that a new land classification should be created, ‘amberfield land’, which would identify ‘ready to go land’. It suggested that creating a pipeline of ready-to-go amberfield land would increase the supply of housing and create new development opportunities.

Reproduced from Designing Buildings Wiki.

CGBC take no responsibility for any inaccuracies


One response to “Greenfield, Brownfield, Previously Developed, Green Belt and soon Amberfield Land?

  1. In the Ministerial statement when introducing the NPPF he stated:- inter-alia

    “The purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable
    Sustainable means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t
    mean worse lives for future generations.
    Development means growth. We must accommodate the new
    ways by which we will earn our living in a competitive world.
    We must house a rising population, which is living longer and
    wants to make new choices. We must respond to the changes
    that new technologies offer us. Our lives, and the places in which we live them, can be better, but they will certainly be worse if things stagnate”

    What is significant within this article is that the participants, in the planning process. at all levels are running out of patience and by seeking additional clarity hope to promote development opportunities. The introduction of another clarification of green infrastructure to overcome the stagnating planning process may well do the trick.

    Are we at CPBC sitting ducks to the development industry?

    The introduction to the National Planning Policy Framework identifies
    Inter-alia :-

    “Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be
    determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material
    considerations indicate otherwise.

    The National Planning Policy Framework must be taken into account in the preparation of local and neighbourhood plans, and is a material consideration in planning decisions.

    Planning policies and decisions must reflect and where appropriate promote relevant EU obligations and statutory requirements”.

    We may question :-

    When will CPBC have a plan and when it does will it have given the appropriate weight to material considerations ?
    Will the Plan Promote relevant EU obligations ?

    There are more question than answers, it is essential that we, the community of CPBC, not only ask, but expect to receive answers to our questions before Councillors come up with and accept their cunning new local plan.

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