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Government seeks to shift new homes from greenbelt to brownfield

National Federation of Builders

2 min read Partner content

The Government consultation ‘Strengthening planning policy for brownfield development’ seen to implement a ‘presumption in favour of brownfield’ to ensure more brownfield land is used for housing, rather than expanding onto the greenbelt or outside of communities.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said:

“There isn’t enough brownfield land to get close to solving the housing crisis and whilst this policy is welcomed as a concept, if it exists to avoid the political backlash from building on the greenbelt, we should expect the housing crisis to endure.”

The consultation seeks to:

  • Implement brownfield presumptions through the penalty policies in the housing delivery test
  • Ensure cities and urban areas take the majority housing supply uplifts
  • Place increased accountability on the London Mayor for under-delivery
  • Give greater weight to brownfield land in local planning policy

Rico Wojtulewicz, Head of Policy and Market Insight, said:

“Brownfield is land allocated for non-residential development, if you get rid of it for housing, where do you put the extra GP surgeries, jobs, shops, services support even higher local populations? Well, you either build them on the greenbelt, outside of communities or not at all.

If the Government wants to make ‘brownfield first’ a decent solution, it needs to demolish sites and rebuild them more densely, eg:10+ storeys. This will mean developments can provide housing and non-housing needs. If it doesn’t do this, we still won’t build enough houses, as there isn’t enough brownfield as it is, and ‘brownfield first’ will produce worse places to live.”


Notes to editors:

  • Rico Wojtulewicz is available for interview in conjunction with this written piece, for more information please get in touch
  • NFB is the longest standing and most representative construction trade body representing over 1,000 members with 28,500 employees with a combined turnover of over £8bn (FY 2023)
  • The NFB represents builders, contractors and house builders across England and Wales. Founded in 1896, its members range from the sole trader to large, billion pound construction companies, with turnover ranging from below £500,000 to £1.1 billion. The NFB provides advice, training, and business services to ensure members stay up to date.
  • The NFB campaigns on the issues that affect the construction industry such as procurement, skills, sustainability, and funding. It represents the industry to government and industry forums and is an active media commentator and policy influencer.
  • For further information please contact the NFB press office on 03450 578 160 or email


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