Housebuilders’ group asks public to report derelict sites suitable for redevelopment in response to urban taskforce report.
The House Builders’ Federation has launched a public appeal to identify brownfield sites suitable for residential development in response to the findings of Lord Rogers’ urban taskforce.

The “Old Land New Homes” campaign is designed to encourage members of the public to contact the HBF on a telephone hotline to inform it of derelict sites in their area that could be used for housing.

The HBF said a number of organisations, most notably the Council for the Protection of Rural England, have claimed that there are more brownfield sites available than are currently identified by local authorities.

The project leader for the campaign, Marc Cranfield Adams, said: “The idea is to engage the public in the process of identifying undesignated brownfield sites. Once we have the information, we will pass it on to the relevant local authority, which can then act on it.” Cranfield Adams added that the campaign would also highlight the difficulties housebuilders face in their dealings with local authorities when trying to develop brownfield sites.

The campaign launch follows an attack by the HBF on the urban taskforce report. HBF chief executive Roger Humber said the report was filled with a number of vague and impractical proposals that will be impossible to deliver.

The idea is to engage the public in the process of identifying undesignated brownfield sites

Marc Cranfield Adams, HBF

He added that the report made the government’s task of an urban renaissance more difficult because it failed to target problem areas and issues that directly affected development.

An HBF spokesman said: “The taskforce would have been better off looking at specific areas that could be targeted for an urban renaissance. A number of cities in the north of England need an urban renaissance, as do pockets of London like Greenwich, Tower Hamlets and Lewisham.

“But urban extensions are what is required in the South-east because there is not enough brownfield land available there. We need extensions to towns like Stevenage and Guildford – places where there is access to public transport and an existing infrastructure. These are logical bolt-ons.

“The problem is, architects don’t like the suburbs because they regard them as boring and they can’t knock down large areas and build their grand designs.