Response to NPPF consultation: brownfield definition

Definition of ‘brownfield land’:
In the NPPF consultation draft issued earlier in 2018, this definition is used as a synonym with ‘previously developed land’.
 
Previously developed land: 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. This excludes: land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill, where provision for restoration has been made through development control procedures; land in built-up areas such as residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously-developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape.
 
The definition given for ‘previously developed land’ with its exclusions leads to sites some of our members routinely deal with, for example former coal mining sites that are being re-developed for mixed use schemes and/or sites where the permanent structure has blended into the landscape, falling outside the definition of previously developed land and thus for the purposes of the NPPF, brownfield land also. Furthermore it confusingly captures currently occupied by permanent structures, such as the office building you are currently in,  as PDL, and hence brownfield.  This definition is confusing given the strong encouragement – both via the brownfield registers and financial incentives – to reuse post industrial, under-used, derelict or abandoned land.
 
There is another definition for brownfield land proposed by the European Brownfield Regeneration Network (CABERNET, 2006) that better reflects the public and indeed the sector’s understanding of the term: 
 
Brownfields are sites that have been affected by the former uses of the site and surrounding land; are derelict or underused; may have real or perceived contamination problems; are mainly in developed urban areas and require intervention to bring them back to beneficial use.
We would suggest that the above definition is added in the Glossary and used in the main body of the text.

“The above was submitted to the NPPF consultation that closed on 10 May 2018.”
 

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