Firstly, Georgie is only talking about Londinium, where I’m told the world starts and finishes. So if you were getting your hopes up that at last the Lord Rogers report of 1999, Towards an Urban Renaissance, would actually be acted upon you’ll be immensely saddened, though if like me not at all surprised.
Rogers’ report had many recommendations, one of which was “the building of 60% of new housing as schemes on brownfield land”. So what happened to this ideology and why are we seeing more and more green belt land being given away for housing when we have perfectly good developable brownfield land…?
We believe the main reasons is the perceived belief that all brownfield land is contaminated and because of this it will not be cost effective to develop. Codswallop…! (A great word if there ever was). There are now so many economic ways to remediate contaminated land that developing our brownfield sites has never made more sense than right now, especially with our current housing shortage.
What you need is to give careful thought as to how the site should be developed given its perceived contaminated challenges and to do this you need a comprehensive remediation strategy. As you will know for this to have any credence it can only be produced by those who have first-hand experience of the numerous remediation technologies and magic pixie dusts (more on these in a later post) currently available. Where possible the development of the strategy must be started prior to any detailed planning of the site development or indeed any intrusive site investigation works. The reasons why are too numerous to explain here and will be covered in a later post, but rest assured by doing so you will undoubtedly save time and more importantly money…which must be music to your ears…!
There will obviously be inherent risks involved in the remediation of the site and these should be given careful consideration within the strategy, especially as to where and more importantly with whom the accountability for them rests. But when these risks are clearly explained to you, by the people who have the direct experience of the likely issues you may encounter, you are then armed with sound knowledge to make the right commercial decision. We all take risks when crossing the road or driving our cars so why not so with developing brownfield sites…?
As ever, if there is anything that we can help you with, why not give us a call…we won’t run you over…!
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