Funding the future of brownfield development

Published on:
Wednesday March 25, 2020

Few parts of society have escaped untouched by the coronavirus, and property development is no exception. Many development projects across the UK, and indeed globally, have stalled or even been withdrawn due to the social and economic challenges we’re currently facing. Despite this uncertainty, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and at Legend we are confident about what the future holds.

In the 2020 Budget, announced just a few weeks ago, the Government outlined a clear commitment to the regeneration of disused land across the UK over the coming years. Its unveiling of a new £400 million fund to boost brownfield development comes as a welcome announcement to those of us who share that same dedication.

The funds will be utilised by Mayoral Combined Authorities and local areas to regenerate brownfield land that will allow us to build more houses, helping the Government in its goal to create 300,000 new homes each year. As part of this funding commitment, the Government intends to launch a new register of brownfield sites in April.

In 2018, the Campaign for Rural England reported that there were 17,656 identified brownfield sites in the UK, and that, collectively, these sites had the potential for the construction of a minimum of one million homes. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of the new brownfield register, and where that potential development figure stands at the moment.

The fund should enable developers like us to rapidly build more homes the country so desperately needs, on sites that currently contribute nothing to their local area, both economically and aesthetically. The regeneration of neglected brownfield areas remains central to our strategy over the next few years, starting with our Widnes Wharf and GreenYard development projects.

We hope that this fund can be made available quickly, so that once the current COVID-19 storm has passed, the property development sector can resume its regeneration plans at pace.