A new analysis of brownfield land registers has found that they identify enough land to build at least one million new homes, more than two-thirds which are deliverable within the next five years.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), which carried out the analysis, said that many of these sites are in areas with a high need for housing.
It said this means that three of the next five years’ worth of Government housing targets could be met through building homes on brownfield land that has already been identified.
CPRE found that the 17,656 sites identified by local planning authorities, covering over 28,000 hectares of land, would provide enough land for a minimum of 1,052,124 homes.
This could rise to over 1.1 million once all registers are published.
Most brownfield land is within urban areas that already have infrastructure, and where there is a higher demand for housing.
Rebecca Pullinger, planning campaigner at CPRE, said: ‘It’s fantastic news that local authorities have identified so many sites on brownfield land that are ready and waiting to be developed – and shown how wide of the mark the Government’s estimates of brownfield capacity have been.
‘Contrary to what the Government, and other commentators have said, brownfield sites are also available in areas with high housing pressure. Indeed, our analysis is conservative with its estimates of potential number of homes that could be built – the figure could much higher if density is increased and if more registers looked at small sites.
‘The Government needs to get on with amending its guidance to make sure that councils identified all the available brownfield sites in their areas. They then need to improve incentives to build on these sites and ensure that they follow through on their commitment that all new-builds should be on brownfield first.’
Earlier this month ministers announced the first wave of funding from the £5bn Housing Infrastructure Fund.
They said 33 council-led projects across the country will receive funding totalling £866m to support local work that will make housing developments viable and get homes built quicker.
The cash will fund infrastructure projects including new roads, cycle paths, flood defences and land remediation work, allowing up to 200,000 new homes to be built.