Brownfield Forum opens up to greenfield

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The new Brownfield Forum, set up to replace the old National Brownfield Forum, has decided at its first meeting to rename itself The Land Forum and to change its terms of reference to include work on greenfield sites.

The change was agreed at its first meeting on 13 July, just 12 days before the Government issued its Draft Planning Policy Framework which proposes an end to all brownfield-first planning policies.

The minutes say members thought the group should "most appropriately" be called The Land Forum and to adopt the strapline "promoting the sustainable use of land".

"We're not losing sight of the need to address brownfield development, but we see it as a continuum of brownfield and greenfield which will underpin the sustainable development of the future," Forum chair Phil Crowcroft told BB.

"Everyone there is the representative of an organisation and we have to get more active if the Government is getting less active and it's up to us to see sites are brought forward and developed correctly."

The Forum agreed to modify its terms of reference on land of interest. It now includes development land and derelict, vacant and underused land with actual or potential environmental or social value for non-development uses.

"This will include previously developed and contaminated land, as well as land that has not been subject to development," continue the terms of reference.

"In general the Forum will not consider agricultural land or areas of nature conservation interest, except where included in the above."

Interpreted strictly, these guidelines would include any greenfield farm land earmarked for development.

Forum insiders believe that, although the NPPF would shift the balance of development from brownfield to greenfield, there would still be work to be done on brownfield sites.

But elsewhere in the sector there was astonishment the Forum has chosen this moment, of all moments, to reflect the Government line on brownfield.

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BB Staff
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Brownfield Briefing

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