Everything You Need-to-Know About Building on Brownfield Sites Property Development 19th July 2016 | By Gareth Morgan Investing in bricks and mortar can be a great decision when done properly, but finding a plot of land to start your project can be tricky with space at a premium. However, we may have a solution for you: Brownfield sites. What is Classed as Brownfield Land? ‘Brownfield’ land is the term used to describe previously developed land in the UK that now has potential for being redeveloped. This brownfield land can usually be traced back to industrial or commercial use in the past, but is now derelict or unused. It could also refer to land that has been contaminated due to previous heavy manufacturing on the site. Regulations for Building on Brownfield Land In popular city and suburb areas, green spaces for development are extremely rare and therefore brownfield sites have soared in popularity over the last few years. Developers are snapping up this land for residential and commercial properties, and some are even transforming brownfields into recreational or conservation areas for community use. At the end of last year, England alone had 66,000 hectares of brownfield sites, with a third of these in London and other high-growth areas. Building on these sites is encouraged through the UK Sustainable Development Strategy, as it cleans up dangerous eyesores and inspires gentrification. In order to build on any brownfield site, the land must be assessed, with analysis of soil, groundwater and surface water for any harmful contaminants. If contaminated, this will then have to be remedied in the correct manner. Developers previously needed a special license and would need to abide by strict environmental regulations, however George Osborne announced in ‘Fixing the Foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ last year that a new, more relaxed, zonal system will make development of brownfield sites easier and more fuss-free. Finance options are widely available for brownfield land developments and grants can be sourced from the local authority. The 2015 government consultation proposal ‘Building more homes on brownfield land’ states that: ‘The Government knows that local authorities share its ambition to maximise housing delivery on brownfield land. In June last year we announced that we expect to see local development orders being used to get permissions in place on over 90% of suitable brownfield land by 2020, and we made a commitment to implementing a package of measures to support authorities in delivering this goal. Since then local authorities taking forward local development orders for housing on suitable brownfield sites have started to receive support and today I am inviting authorities to bid for a further round of funding.’ Pure Commercial Finance Can Find You Brownfield Site Finance Here at Pure Commercial Finance, we help find specialist land development finance deals for brownfield and greenbelt land projects, whether your intentions are for a commercial or residential development. Finance starts from £100,000 with no maximum limit, and is available less than a week from enquiry on a 1 month to 5 year term. To learn more about this or the other finance deals we source, request a call back from our friendly team here.