Local planning authorities are required by the government to prepare and publish a 'brownfield land register' and annually review it.
The register provides details of previously developed sites that are considered suitable for residential development.
The preparation and publication of the register is governed by the Town and Country (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017.
‘Brownfield land' is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2019) as:
"Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure".
There is published guidance on understanding the brownfield land register.
All sites must meet the following criteria:
Be at least 0.25 hectares or capable of supporting at least 5 dwellings:
Suitable for residential development: this means the site either has been allocated in a local development plan document for residential use, has planning permission for residential use or is considered by the local authority to be appropriate for residential use.
Available for residential development: this means that there is no impediment to development in terms of either ownership issues or legal constraints on the land
Residential development is achievable: the site is likely to be developed within 15 years of being entered on the register
The Register can be kept in two parts:
Part 1 comprises all brownfield sites that meet the above criteria
Part 2 comprises those sites that the Council deem suitable to be granted ‘permission in principle’ for residential development
It is important to note that entry onto Part 1 of the register does not guarantee that this site will progress onto Part 2 of the register or receive planning permission.
Part 2 of the register is optional and allows local planning authorities to select sites from Part 1 and grant Permission in Principle (PIP) for housing-led development, after undertaking necessary requirements for publicity, notification and consultation.
A PIP establishes the fundamental principle for development of a site in terms of its use, location and approximate number of homes that the site can reasonably accommodate.
A PIP is similar to an 'outline' planning permission. However, planning permission is not granted until Technical Details Consent is applied for and approved by the local planning authority.
The council at this time has not put any sites on Part 2 of the register.