ACE urges Government not to overlook brownfield development

brownfield developments, Infrastructure for everyone
© Philip Openshaw

In its manifesto, ‘Infrastructure for everyone’, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) argues for denser brownfield development, to help deal with the national housing crisis 

Government figures show a recent decline in brownfield development, down from 61% in 2016 to 56%. The Campaign to Protect Rural England has previously estimated that more than one million homes could be built on brownfield sites, therefore protecting vulnerable greenbelt land.

A variety of recommendations have been made to enable everyone to own their own home. The manifesto warns against overlooking sites on brownfield land which are more complex, but which naturally encourage a shift to walking, cycling and public transport.

Implementing models to allow all parties involved in the development to share in the long term uplift of land value was another idea. Likewise, creating stability in social housing policy by ensuring a flat 15% provision in any development and incorporating placemaking principles to encourage local buy-in for housing developments are other recommendations made.

Chief executive of ACE, Hannah Vickers, said: “Successive governments have been notoriously poor at meeting their housebuilding targets and rather than simply setting themselves up to fail ever more spectacularly, they should be looking to the industry for practical solutions to encourage the building of new homes.”

Elsewhere in its manifesto, ACE called for policies to support infrastructure investment, which they argue are the foundations of economic growth. They also called for the government to commit to 2% of infrastructure funding and for gaps in energy generation to be tackled as a matter of priority.

Recommendations of the ‘Infrastructure for everyone’ manifesto

Vickers continued: “I’m delighted to see Infrastructure rightly at the forefront of the political debate. Issues such as housing, transport and utilities are key to delivering both a better society and economic growth. Our practical, pragmatic and achievable policies are ready to go with the right political will.”


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