Our greenbelt land isn’t needed for new homes

Image: Campaign to Protect Rural England

Its report says: “Brownfield land is shown to be a renewable resource that could provide a steady pipeline of new homes”


Yorkshire greenbelt is needlessly under siege from housebuilders, says a new report that has investigated the national availability of brownfield land for development.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England’s report showed Leeds and Sheffield were among 12 areas nationally reported to have green belt unnecessarily at risk of development.

Leeds was said to have 19,400 home planned for greenfield sites but had more than nine years of brownfield sites suitable for new homes. Sheffield was at risk of 6,100 homes being put on green sites but had enough used land to provide homes for the next five years.

The regional breakdown showed Yorkshire had almost 1,800 brownfield sites, covering almost 2,640 hectares of land. It was enough land for more than six years of housebuilding in the region.

The Campaign estimated the amount of deliverable land was enough for more than 64,000 new homes over the five years; four times greater than the region’s estimated housing need.

Bob Buxton: We will get greenbelt mansions

Picture: Robbie MacDonald

Greenbelt campaigner Bob Buxton, a Party executive member, said that 94 brownfield sites in Leeds rated as “suitable” would not be built on in Leeds City Council’s Site Allocation Plan.

“The extra infrastructure we already need – schools, GPs, dentists and proper transport – will not be developed.

In a recent election leaflet, Bob – who is standing in the Guiseley and Rawdon ward for Leeds City Council in the May local elections, said: “We will not get enough cheaper homes, retirement homes or council flats. We will get greenbelt mansions. We will get housing on greenbelt floodplains on the Ings fields in Guiseley.

“Whatever happened to commonsense? Whatever happened to listening to local people?”  

The Guardian quotes the report as saying that nationally 1m homes could be built on previously used land in England, with more than 2,600 new sites identified in the past year.

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