26 February 2018

What are the barriers to brownfield development?

Amanda Beresford recently shared her views with Development Finance Today, who asked the industry what barriers developers and lenders could face when approaching a brownfield scheme.

Amanda said: “There are a number of complex barriers to developing brownfield land, and ensuring viability of a site is a common issue. Developers must often overcome costly challenges around site contamination and clearance, problematic ground conditions and difficult land ownership arrangements. The challenge of ensuring brownfield developments are sufficiently profitable is exacerbated when considering many developers are also often required to offer community benefits and affordable housing as part of a project, through Section 106 Agreement obligations or by making a Community Infrastructure Levy payment.
“Funding from the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, the New Homes Bonus scheme and a relatively new ability for local authorities to retain some business rates may assist in dealing with abnormal development costs and community infrastructure provision in future residential schemes. Local planning authorities have compulsory purchase powers which can help overcome complex land ownership structures often attached to brownfield. Authorities can further help create a more certain environment for developers to proceed with the production of up to date development plans, allocating sites as housing where appropriate whilst at the same time ensuring there is sufficient allocation to meet employment requirements.”

Read the full article here