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Wednesday, 12 June 2019 14:45

London Green Spaces Commission

We recently made a submission to the London Green Space Commission's review of the management and funding of London's parks.  We called for.....

Official 'brownfield registers' seriously under-estimate the amount of derelict, vacant and previously built on land that could be used for new housing in London.  We need to prioritise the reuse of such sites for housing to revitalise run-down areas and protect the Green Belt and other vital green spaces.

Please call Neil Sinden on 020 7253 0300/07496 805354 for further information

Space for over 280,000 homes on brownfield sites in London ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ say local campaigners

London’s brownfield land is a renewable resource that can provide a steady pipeline of new homes

A new analysis of councils’ Brownfield Land Registers, published today (25 March) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), demonstrates the huge potential that building on derelict and vacant land has for the regeneration of towns and cities, as well as the provision of new homes [1].

The analysis shows that in London alone there is space on suitable ‘brownfield land’– land that has been previously built on and now sits derelict or vacant – to accommodate over 287,000 homes [2]. Almost two thirds of this land is ‘shovel ready’ and could make an immediate contribution to meeting housing need, having been confirmed as deliverable within five years.  And CPRE London believes these figures seriously underestimate the actual amount of brownfield land available.

Prioritising re-use of brownfield land, which councils have shown is ready and waiting to be redeveloped, would not only help to transform run-down areas, and provide more homes, but also prevent the loss of precious countryside and green spaces for housing.

Neil Sinden, Director of CPRE London said:

“London’s Green Belt is under growing threat of development with Government Inspectors only this week [3] questioning the approach to meeting housing needs being taken by the Mayor in the new London Plan.    The Plan currently proposes strict protection of Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land and prioritising the use of brownfield land which we strongly support.  Yet developers and others are calling for Green Belt protection to be relaxed.”

Our new report shows just how much capacity there is to provide housing on brownfield land in London – enough for over 10 years housing supply at recent rates of housebuilding.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Our recent work in Enfield [4] suggests that actual brownfield capacity is well over 10 times that suggested by the figures collected by councils in their Brownfield Land Registers.  And if homes are built at sustainable densities, the capacity would be even greater.   

Neil Sinden concluded:

‘We now have the opportunity to provide the new homes London so desperately needs by revitalising run-down urban areas while safeguarding our precious green spaces.     To achieve this we need a positive brownfield-first approach coupled with the strict protection of the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land proposed in the London Plan’. 

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. CPRE, State of Brownfield 2019 - This report will be available on the CPRE website after the embargo has lifted. If required before this, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a copy.
  1. Breakdown of key statistics in Brownfield Land Registers in Greater London  (All the sites on the registers have been assessed by local planning authorities as being ‘suitable’ for housing development, having had regard to their environmental, amenity and heritage value):. 

Local Planning Authority

 

Number of sites

Total area (hectares)

Total minimum housing capacity

Minimum housing capacity of deliverable sites

Barking and Dagenham

 

63

277

23,488

15,444

Barnet

 

83

242

18,594

15,935

Bexley

 

47

16

1,914

1,891

Brent

 

112

69

12,235

10,085

Bromley

 

61

45

3,097

722

Camden

 

97

43

6,262

2,859

City of London

 

1

0

5

5

Croydon

 

249

107

11,236

8,454

Ealing

 

70

112

7,026

6,702

Enfield

 

27

50

2,170

2,170

Greenwich

 

101

133

23,478

23,023

Hackney

 

23

5

3,374

 

Hammersmith and Fulham

 

14

9

2,554

2554

Haringey

 

179

161

18,800

18,800

Harrow

 

102

102

7,634

7,586

Havering

 

78

100

12,382

9,267

Hillingdon

 

84

125

6,582

4,227

Hounslow

 

9

11

1,171

1,171

Islington

 

83

58

6,260

4,830

Kensington and Chelsea

 

50

38

7,132

2,223

Kingston upon Thames

 

80

39

5,707

1,235

Lambeth

 

36

32

3,976

2,884

Lewisham

 

128

96

16,425

13,516

London Legacy DC

 

3

7.2

1000

1000

Merton

 

83

31

1,102

 

Newham

 

68

9

1,245

387

Old Oak and Park Royal DC

 

41

57.6

20,505

4,715

Redbridge

 

186

128

12,579

6,023

Richmond upon Thames

 

50

79

1,980

1,491

Southwark

 

346

65

9,547

5,221

Sutton

 

103

48

3,265

 

Tower Hamlets

 

26

96

130

 

Waltham Forest

 

38

20

3,441

3,390

Wandsworth

 

175

194

24,706

22,777

Westminster

 

101

35

6,049

977

TOTAL

 

2,997

2,642

287,051

170,185

  1. On Tuesday 26 March Government Inspectors will question the Mayor’s approach to the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land at the examination in public of the draft London Plan at City Hall.  
  1. Recent research by CPRE London in the Borough of Enfield found space for at least 37,000 homes on a wide range of types of brownfield land. This is compared to just 2,170 homes identified on Enfield’s most recently published register in December 2017 – see Space to Build in Enfield  (February, 2019).  The requirement in the regulations for the registers that land should be ‘available for residential development’ and the definition of that term in article 4(2) may result in missing opportunities to make better use of existing developed sites. For example, supermarkets and their car parks could be converted to provide homes whilst maintaining existing uses.

Please call Neil Sinden on 020 7253 0300/07496 805354 for further information

Tuesday, 12 February 2019 15:35

Space to Build in Enfield

MEDIA RELEASE

Weds 13 February 2019 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For further comment please call Alice Roberts CPRE London 07792942691

Space for 37,000 new homes within Enfield’s previously developed land

Building on Enfield’s Green Belt is “worst possible option” for Enfield residents, say campaigners

CPRE London [1] has worked with local groups Enfield RoadWatch [2] and The Enfield Society [3] to publish today (Wednesday) ‘Space to Build, Enfield’ [4] – evidence they intend to use to support their responses to Enfield Council’s Local Plan consultation.

Alice Roberts of CPRE London said “Our report shows that Enfield Council should not even be considering building on Green Belt. There is plenty of space to build new homes within Enfield’s previously developed land. We’ve already found space for 37,000 new homes and that’s really just a start.”

“But our research also shows that building housing at Crews Hill [5] in Enfield’s Green Belt would be the worst possible option for Enfield residents. It cannot provide affordable housing [6], would mean more congestion and traffic [7], and would destroy a cluster of much-loved businesses which are visited by people from all over north London and beyond – an important piece of Enfield’s economy which cannot be replaced.

The type of low-density housing which is typical of Green Belt developments will contribute little towards the borough’s housing target. Building on Enfield’s Green Belt would mean giving up large swathes of valuable green land for very few new homes. And those will predominantly be expensive homes.

“There are much better options. Large ‘opportunity’ sites, like the Southbury area, can and should be ‘masterplanned’ for high quality, high density (though not high rise) housing developments which are ‘walkable’ and where space is used for housing rather than lots car parking, as happens with low-density Green Belt development. [8] This type of high density housing is more affordable for young people and people on lower incomes – people who are also more likely to rely on public transport and are less able to afford a car. It can also include office space, schools, shops – everything people need.

Alice Roberts concluded:

“Enfield Council should put its limited resources into planning for high quality, high density development which can improve lives for all its residents – rather than focussing valuable time on displacing Crews Hill businesses, only to create expensive homes and worsen traffic congestion.

“As the London Plan goes through its Examination in Public, we are seeing a new round of pressure to release Green Belt from developers and landowners who stand to gain and who claim this will help to solve the housing crisis. Young people in particular are being cruelly misled. It will not solve Enfield’s housing crisis and will reduce access to the countryside. In fact, it is the worst possible option for all Enfield residents.”

ENDS

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

  1. CPRE London is a membership-based charity with 2,500 members around London, which campaigns to save Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and other green spaces within Greater London, and to make our capital city a better place to live for everyone. We are a branch of the national environmental charity, the Campaign to Protect Rural England.
  2. Enfield RoadWatch https://enfieldroadwatch.co.uk/ is an action group committed to campaigning to save Green Belt in Enfield and more widely
  3. The Enfield Society https://enfieldsociety.org.uk/about-the-society/ has about 2000 members and is one of the most active amenity societies in the country
  4. CPRE London, Enfield RoadWatch and The Enfield Society today publish Space to Build Enfield, the result of extensive research into ‘space to build’ in all 21 wards in Enfield.
  5. Enfield’s Local Plan Consultation documents point to the popular garden centre destination, Crews Hill, as an area which might be appropriate for housing development
  6. CPRE’s 2018 report showed that the vast majority of new homes being built in Green Belt are not affordable https://www.cpre.org.uk/media-centre/latest-news-releases/item/4930-green-belt-being-eroded
  7. Low density vs high density: pollution and childhood obesity Homes in Green Belt locations cannot be built to high density because public transport levels are not high enough. Even when close to stations, the majority of trips are made by car because people have no other option. Buses are few and far between and the train only takes you in a particular direction. So people living in Green Belt developments – and Crews Hill in Enfield would be no exception – would necessarily rely on car travel for most of their trips – and that means more car journeys, more traffic & congestion, and more pollution, when compared to locations close to Enfield’s existing town and district centres. Enfield and indeed the whole of London is facing dual health crises with air pollution and childhood obesity: a staggering 25% of Enfield’s Year 6 children were identified as being ‘obese’ in 2015/16 [https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/data/child-obesity/]. As the Mayor of London recognises in his Transport Strategy, we need fewer car trips and more trips made by public transport, walking and cycling.
  8. Southbury area and transport. Our report shows that transport around the Southbury area, for example, can be improved at relatively low cost so it has the excellent public transport needed for high density development. Of course transport improvements at Southbury would be great news for the people in the area already relying on public transport.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018 16:12

CPRE London Green Clean

Please call Neil Sinden on 07496 805354 for further information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 London’s Bow Back Rivers get a ‘Green Clean’

The London branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is working with volunteers in east London as part of a nationwide clean-up of our precious green spaces this September In anticipation of the introduction of deposit return system for drinks containers.

Environmental campaigners CPRE London are delighted to be working with local volunteers to clean up litter hotspots around the Bow Back and Lea Rivers near the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Sunday 23 September [1].    The event is part of a nationwide Green Clean initiative which will highlight the huge volume of bottles and cans that litter many of our most precious green spaces.

Neil Sinden from CPRE London [2] said:

‘Drink-related litter is a major problem in London. It’s great to have the opportunity to take part in this nationwide campaign to draw attention to the impact of discarded drinks containers which detract so much from the beauty and enjoyment of green spaces and waterways across the capital.   We are grateful for all the volunteers participating in this litter-pick which we hope will be one of the last to reveal the extent of this problem.’

Charles Dean from the Friends of Bow Back Rivers said:

‘We are very pleased to work in partnership with CPRE and local volunteers on this litter pick. As a local community group we want to improve the quality of the environment along these important London waterways for the benefit of those who live by, work near or use the river systems for recreation. Events like this have a double benefit - cleaning up heavily littered areas and raising awareness of the need to tackle plastic waste pollution.’

London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment & Energy, Shirley Rodrigues said: 

‘The Mayor is determined to help make London one of the greenest cities on the planet and cleaning up and maintaining our green spaces is vitally important. At City Hall we are committed to reducing needless plastic waste which can end up littering our parks and rivers. I want to thank CPRE and all the hard working volunteers who are helping out on ‘Green Cleans’ across London.’

After 10 years of campaigning, the Government announcement that England is to have a deposit return system earlier this year was a huge environmental win for CPRE in its fight against bottles and cans which litter green spaces in town and country [3]. Similar systems around the world boost recycle rates as high as 97% [4].

Yet while we wait for the scheme to be put in place, England’s green spaces remain awash with empty bottles and cans, causing serious harm to our natural environment and wildlife. So throughout September CPRE is mobilising its network to encourage litter pickers to clear up our green spaces as part of its nationwide ‘Green Clean’. The aim is to collect as much rubbish as possible, and experience the green spaces we all want to see, before we have a deposit system that will prevent them from becoming littered with cans and bottles ever again.

As well as collecting litter, CPRE Green Cleaners will record the quantity and type of litter they find. The information recorded will help deliver innovative solutions to England’s litter problem by increasing recycling and changing behaviours to reduce litter levels further.

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, CPRE’s National Litter Campaigner said:

‘Our nationwide Green Clean will help prepare our green spaces for the introduction of a deposit return system, transforming them back to a beautiful, litter-free state. So long as the deposit system that the Government introduces is set up to collect all drinks containers – all materials of all sizes – this harmful littered eyesore could soon be a thing of the past.

‘We want everyone across the country to get out and get involved. Through the collective effort of local people and communities, who either live in or simply love our green spaces, we can banish bottles and cans from our parks, fields, footpaths and hedgerows for good.’

ENDS

Notes to Editors/Picture Editors:

  1. CPRE London’s Green Clean of Bow Back Rivers in east London takes place between 9.30am and 12.30pm on Sunday 23 September.   Volunteers will meet at the Viewtube on the Greenway, Marshgate Lane, E15 2JP before tackling litter hotspots along nearby waterways.   There will be a photocall opportunities at the start and end of the litter pick – contact Neil Sinden on 07496 805354 for details. We are grateful for the support of Thames Water, LB of Newham, Poplar HARCA, Viewtube Café, Dot Dot Dot, the Canal and River Trust, and the Mayor’s Office in running this event.

  1. CPRE London www.cprelondon.org.uk is a membership-based charity with 2,500 members around London. We are London’s leading environment charity protecting green spaces and making the city a better place for everyone. We are a branch of the national environmental charity, the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

  1. CPRE delighted by deposit return announcement
    On 23 March 2018, the Government announced it would be introducing a nationwide deposit return system for plastic and glass bottles, as well as aluminium cans. This will help boost recycling rates and combat the plague of litter blighting green spaces.

  1. Deposit return – the past becomes the future

For countries such as Norway and Germany that already have a system in place, littered bottles and cans are a rare sight, as the deposit system means that they have a monetary value and people either want to return them to collect their deposit or pick up those containers discarded by others to collect those deposits. Many other countries and provinces around the world have found a deposit return system to be the best way to capture drinks containers, and there have been similar initiatives for glass bottles in England some years back. Due to the monetary incentive, such schemes have return rates of between 70-98.5%, with an associated reduction in other container litter of up to 80%.

 

Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:04

Survey of London's 'Protected' Land

New survey reveals the importance of London’s Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land for our most precious wildlife and woodland

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