A new report calls on the government, developers and construction professionals to speed up the release of brownfield land for development.
The study, called Releasing Brownfield and prepared by the Centre for the Built Environment at Sheffield Hallam University, identifies issues that might hinder or encourage the reuse of land.

The report, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation last week, urges planning authorities not to be constrained by unitary development plans but to adopt a flexible approach to changing the use of land or buildings.

The report was based on the comments of 230 brownfield experts, ranging from developers to contractors and architects.

It lists nine recommendations to speed up brownfield developments. It also calls on site owners to contribute to urban renewal by taking advantage of the 150% tax break on decontaminating land.

In addition, it proposes that a land quality statement should form part of the transaction of all brown land and that the government clarify the bases for landfill tax exemption to make certificates simpler to obtain.

Councils and the Environment Agency should communicate better with developers and each other, the report urges, and developers should involve the community from the inception of a project.

It adds that the government should come up with new gap funding to pump-prime brownfield schemes, without breaking European Union rules on state aid.