If you’ve visited our Insights blog before, you may be familiar with us discussing greenfield land and strategic land investment, we do talk about it quite a lot after all! One of our most frequently asked questions is why we only choose greenfield land sites rather than brownfield, and in this article, we aim to clear that up for you.
Firstly, what exactly is greenfield land?
Simply put, greenfield land is an undeveloped land site that has typically been used as paddock land or for agricultural purposes. To make greenfield land strategic, it has to be located close to an existing settlement and have road access. It must also have access to crucial amenities such as local public transport facilities, shops, schools and medical care in order to provide a sustainable location for potential residential development in the future.
As greenfield land has not typically been host to any sort of previous development, this means it often is not constrained by potential contamination from prior constructions and materials and this can make it easier to develop for new homes. It is also crucial to note here that greenfield land is not part of the protected greenbelt, and therefore there are no environmental implications to repurposing the land for residential development.
How does greenfield land differ to brownfield?
Perhaps the most obvious difference between greenfield and brownfield land lies in the fact that brownfield land is land that has been previously developed – previous development usually takes the form of commercial or industrial structures and it is this previous development that gives the land its brownfield category.
Sometimes, repurposing brownfield land for development can come with challenges. For example, there can be contamination to the land from the previous structure that was there which can take the form of anything from spillages, metals or even asbestos that will need to be identified and cleared up before any residential development can take place on the site.
In April 2017, it was announced by the Government that they would be implementing new measures to ensure that councils would benefit from new tools to speed up the development of brownfield land within their authority specifically for the purpose of building new homes.
Then Housing and Planning Minister, Gavin Barwell, said “We need to build more homes in this country so making sure that we re-use brownfield land is crucial. We want to bring life back to abandoned sites, create thousands more homes and help protect our valued countryside.”
This announcement came just two months after the long awaited Housing Whitepaper was released, with a focus on ending the continuing housing crisis that the UK faces.
Why do Intro Crowd only choose greenfield sites?
While the positive impact of re-developing brownfield land sites cannot be denied, we will continue to focus on its greenfield counterpart. Despite the Government’s new strategy to speed up the redevelopment process of brownfield land, it can still be a more time-consuming task than redeveloping greenfield sites, and there is still the potential for housebuilders to encounter more issues in the form of contamination.
The comparative ease of development on greenfield land, combined with its “blank canvas” nature make it a popular choice among housebuilders, and with the expertise brought to our team by our Land and Planning Director, Christopher Merriman, we can ensure that the sites we choose are almost certain to gain planning permission in the future. We can also be more selective in terms of the location of the site around the settlement we are focusing on. This way we can ensure we choose the most sustainable site for housebuilders, and assess important considerations such as access and local amenities.
For more information about how we choose our sites, or about how the Intro Crowd process works, get in touch with a member of our team today.
This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice. This article does not amount to an invitation or inducement to buy or sell an investment nor does it solicit any such offer or invitation in any jurisdiction.
In all cases, readers should conduct their own investigation and analysis of the data in the article. Readers are strongly encouraged to seek independent legal and financial advice when considering an investment in strategic land. All statements of opinion and/or belief contained in this article and all views expressed and all projections, forecasts or statements relating to expectations regarding future events represent Intro Crowd’s own assessment and interpretation of information available as at the date of this article.
No responsibility or liability is accepted by Intro Crowd or Sapia Partners LLP for reliance on the contents of this article.