Register will highlight brownfield land in Portsmouth for development

A NEW system could help flag up land for future developments in Portsmouth, it has been revealed.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 2:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th July 2018, 2:09 pm

As part of a government initiative Portsmouth City Council is expected to create a register that will list all brownfield sites in the city.

Brownfield sites are land that has previously been developed and are often not as attractive to developers, who favour greenfield sites, which have never been built on.

The council's head of regeneration, Cllr Ben Dowling, explained some of the benefits of the scheme. He said: 'It would be helpful for potential developers as well as members of the public to use.

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'I don't think it will encourage developers to build on them but it would make it a bit easier to access information on them.'

Currently there are 27 brownfield sites in the city, with many citing Tipner as an area in urgent need of redevelopment.

Cllr Dowling added: 'Tipner East and West and the two major brownfield sites in the city and work is currently ongoing to develop them.'

Portsmouth council's head of housing, Cllr Darren Sanders, agreed. He said: 'Developing brownfield sites could be an opportunity to create housing Portsmouth people can afford.

'We must, though, ensure that future developments create communities with infrastructure, shops, schools etcetera rather than purely creating additional housing numbers.'

The news comes after councillors shared concerns about new housing targets.

Speaking at a full council meeting two weeks ago council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'We have a local plan which is based on the number of houses we think we need to build to meet the needs of the population in Portsmouth which is around 500 a year. The government is pushing us and has given us a target of over 800 a year until 2036.

'We don't have unlimited land in Portsmouth. The only way all these homes can be built is if we cram and cram and cram. It is entirely unrealistic. 'At the moment we are building about 400 new homes a year. The target is over double that. If we don't achieve that target government has threatened that there will be consequences.'

The register will be discussed at a regeneration meeting next week.