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Take a fresh look at under-used urban land, CPRE London urges boroughs

By deliar
22nd September 2023

Planning process offers pathway for more imaginative thinking

Under-used car parks and roadways in the capital could create new development sites for housing, CPRE London believes – and we’ve harnessed the planning process to highlight suitable locations.

We are using Hillingdon council’s ‘Call for Sites’ to indicate large areas of neglected space where imaginative planning could transform the area’s streetscape. The freed-up land could be used to provide affordable homes where they are needed most.

A Call For Sites (CFS) is used by councils to ask interested parties (including landowners and developers) to put forward areas of land which could be used for future development. The details feed into the local plan, including a five-year supply of sites.

While the Call for Sites is mainly intended for land owners to identify sites they are interested in developing, we urge boroughs such as Hillingdon to take a wider, objective look at potential sites. They could then enter into discussion with landowners and developers of suitable locations.

CPRE London’s research indicates at least five sites in Hillingdon that offer opportunities for development. These range from over large car parks, particularly those around Heathrow Airport, and land-hungry road layouts which no longer suit today’s motoring patterns.

CPRE London’s Head of Campaigns, Alice Roberts said:

‘The Call for Sites process should allow for more creative planning, by focusing on all suitable sites, rather than exclusively those areas put forward by developers.

‘Imaginative use of surface car parks, which make particularly poor use of space, and re-designed road layouts, could open up many opportunities to develop sustainable communities which rely less on cars.’

CPRE London intends to take a more proactive role in Call for Site processes across the capital to encourage sustainable thinking in every borough.

See CPRE London’s response here

Do you live in Hillingdon? Why not respond to the consultation and let the council know your thoughts on suitable sites:

B&Q / B&M plus Tesco Extra site, Hillingdon, including large car parks, and land-hungry road layouts