The national brownfield land strategy to be published by English Partnerships will include, for the first time, targets to force commercial developers to regenerate previously developed sites.
Professor Paul Syms, the national brownfield land director of English Partnerships, said the policy would include a proposal that a proportion of employment development ought to be built on recycled land.
He said that EP was carrying out research to investigate the barriers to the re-use of brownfield land for commercial purposes.
The government wants 60% of new housing to be built on brownfield sites but there is no such benchmark for employment schemes.
He added that the strategy, which is designed to tackle the hardest sites to regenerate, would not lead to a revision of the housing target.
The strategy is due to be published in the spring.