About 180 brownfield sites have been identified as having potential to provide space for many of the homes Brighton & Hove needs in future.
They are contained in the city council’s new Brownfield Land Register (BLR). If all were developed they could provide over 8000 homes.
Most of the locations have long been public knowledge and the council is not claiming to reveal any previously-unknown building plots. The register is a new government requirement, aimed at helping councils bring forward new housing.
Some sites are already being developed, others have planning applications approved or pending and some are identified as suitable for housing but have no proposals currently linked to them. The BLR makes clear there are difficult problems to overcome with many sites, ranging from contamination to complex mixed ownership. None could be developed without the owner’s involvement.
Examples on the BLR include the former gas works site near Brighton Marina, which would be suitable for around 85 homes, plus jobs and retail uses. The old Saunders glassworks site in Sussex Place, central Brighton, has space for 49 homes but is currently being used as a coach park.
Councillors are being asked to approve the new BLR list at the tourism, development and culture committee on 11 January. The list will be updated annually.
Eighty seven per cent of the city’s future housing is expected to be on brownfield sites, says the council.
Committee chair Cllr Alan Robins said: “We do look first at brownfield sites. Homes are being built on brownfield sites right now. But clearly there are many more. This is about looking for potential rather than a promise to develop every site. That’s not entirely within our control as nearly all sites are privately owned and some have businesses on them which we cannot lose. We’re willing to work with owners and developers, big and small, to unlock these sites where possible.”
Under the government-approved City Plan, a blueprint for Brighton & Hove’s development, the city is required to provide a minimum of 13,200 homes by 2030.
Brownfield land is defined in the National Planning Policy Framework as land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. Exceptions include land in built-up areas such as private residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments.
The committee report on the BLR can be seen among its agenda papers elsewhere on this website.