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Report: When Brownfield Isn't Enough

By: Barney Stringer, Toby Lloyd, Pete Jefferys
Published: February 2016

When Brownfield Isn't Enough

Mayoral Candidates looking for a credible strategy to build the homes London needs must look beyond building only on brownfield land.

This new analysis of the capital's land, carried out by planning consultancy Quod for Shelter, reveals that the vast majority of brownfield land – two thirds – is already used for housing. Much of the rest is used for vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, and transport links, or already earmarked for development.

Alongside brownfield land, the report examines a variety of options which could be used to address London's housing crisis, including:

* Building higher – High buildings have the potential to increase the number of homes in developments, but good design, and smart planning policy from the next Mayor, is essential. * Green Belt – Building on some bits of the green belt should be an option, if done right. Smaller, controlled release of appropriate bits of green belt land could deliver substantial numbers of new homes. * Garden Cities – Garden Cities outside of London could reduce economic and space pressures on the capital, but is likely to be a slow option, and is dependent on the compliance of local authorities.

The report concludes that there is no 'silver bullet solution' – for example just building on brownfield land, or only focussing on high rise developments - that can solve London's housing crisis on its own.