Campaigners call for councils to develop on brownfield land

The CPRE said 3,084 homes could be built in North Somerset. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The CPRE said 3,084 homes could be built in North Somerset. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire - Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Campaigners push for homes to be built on North Somerset’s brownfield sites to protect green spaces.

The Joint Spatial Plan, despite having the capacity to build more than 3,000 homes on 787 brownfield sites, is still considering building 25,000 homes on untouched greenfields. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has called on the Government to make local authorities develop the used land.

In North Somerset, there is a capacity to build 3,084 homes across 77 sites, all of which could be delivered in five years. The CPRE analysed North Somerset Council’s Brownfield Land Register, which lists sites the council says are suitable for development.

A brownfield site refers to an area that has already been used for development, while greenfield sites are used for agriculture or landscape design, or left to evolve naturally.

The Joint Spatial Plan is looking to build more than 100,000 homes in the West of England. The North Somerset developments will see mainly greenfield sites in Churchill, Langford, Backwell and Nailsea being developed. More than 120,000 potential new homes have been added to registers in England in the past year. In North Somerset, 192 new homes were added last year, and all were assessed as being deliverable within five years. The brownfield sites now on the council’s register cover a combined 190 acres – or 126 football pitches.

Rebecca Pullinger, planning campaigner at the CPRE, said: “Building on brownfield land presents a fantastic opportunity to simultaneously remove local eyesores and breathe new life into areas crying out for regeneration.

“It will help to limit the amount of countryside lost to development and build more homes in areas where people want to live, with infrastructure, amenities and services already in place.”

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The Local Government Association said councils had already given hundreds of thousands of homes planning permission that had yet to be built.

The council recently approved 60 homes to be built on the grassland site at Bleadon Hill and is now considering a 66-home plan from Persimmon Homes in Yatton.

It would see houses built on an orchard, which has provoked strong objections from campaigners.