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Brownfield land register

The Local Brownfield Register [excel spreadsheet] and the associated map [pdf document] set how much available brownfield land the Council has identified as being suitable for housing, and what proportion of suitable sites have planning permission. Brownfield land is land that has been previously developed. It can include land with buildings as well as cleared sites. The National Planning Policy Framework provides a definition of previously developed land (see Framework Annex 2: Glossary). The definition excludes some land such as land in built up areas including land occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction and parks, recreation grounds and allotments.

In order for sites to be included in Part 1 of the Register they must meet the following criteria:

  • The site must be classified as Previously Developed Land, as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework [external link];
  • The site must be at least 0.25 hectares in size or capable of supporting at least 5 dwellings (suitable);
  • The site must be expected to come forward for development in the next 15 years (achievable);
  • The site is considered available if the owner or developer of the site have expressed an interest to sell or develop the land 21 days before its entry on the Register, or if the Local Planning Authority considers there to be no ownership or legal issues to prevent development (available).

It is important to note that inclusion on Part 1 of the Brownfield Land Register (link) does not mean that planning permission has been granted, nor does a site’s inclusion on the register give any additional weight or status if an application for Planning Permission is made. However, sites can be included in the Register if they are already allocated for development or if they already have Planning Permission/Permission In Principle for residential development.

Local planning authorities are required to develop and keep their Brownfield Land Registers up to date (with reviews at least annually). The register is publicly available to increase transparency for developers and communities and help to encourage investment in the local area. It will also enable the government to measure progress against its commitment of having planning permissions in place on 90% of suitable brownfield land by 2020.

Future Brownfield Land Registers may also be used as a mechanism for granting permission in principle for housing on suitable brownfield sites. Permission in principle is intended to be another tool to help local planning authorities give permissions for new homes on suitable brownfield land, and will sit alongside the standard planning permission application process and local development orders. At present, Darlington has not granted any sites ‘Permission in Principle’.