Regeneration agency to offer portfolios of land that will include a mix of good and bad sites

English Partnerships is preparing to offer incentives to developers to take on difficult brownfield sites as part of its long delayed strategy to tackle derelict land.

Paul Spooner, EP director for north-west England, who is in charge of the brownfield land initiative, said the agency intended to assemble portfolios that would bundle unprofitable sites with more attractive ones.

The move comes a year after EP selected a panel of 22 developers to work with 14 local authorities on a pilot brownfield programme.

Spooner insisted that participation in the pilot strategy had been worthwhile for developers, even though many had not received any land to build on. “We will still be looking for developers from that panel, and their improved understanding of brownfield sites will stand them in good stead,” he said.

More than a third of the 63,000 ha of brownfield land identified in the National Land Use Database falls into the category of “hardcore” sites that are costly to bring back into productive use.

The proposal is likely to be one of a series of measures to promote the re-use of derelict land that will be outlined in a much delayed policy paper on tackling brownfield sites.

A draft of the paper is due to be presented at a joint EP-government workshop in London in December.

The government promised in 2003 to produce a national brownfield strategy, which EP said it would be publishing in early 2006.

Spooner said EP was helping six councils to bring forward difficult sites.