Greenfield vs Brownfield Sites for Housing Development

Greenfield vs Brownfield Sites for Housing Development A Brownfield site is land which has been developed previously and is or has been occupied by a permanent structure. It may be in an urban or rural setting. It does not include agricultural land, forest or parks. Whereas a Greenfield site is Land which has not been occupied by a permanent structure. It usually applies to land in the countryside but can be undeveloped land within an urban setting. Both of these sites can be ideal for the development of new housing but both also have benefits and drawbacks to doing so.

Firstly redeveloping Brownfield sites eases pressure on Greenfield sites and is more sustainable. Although Greenfield sites are often on the edge of towns and cities and may have better access, have less congestion, be in a more pleasant environment and have more space and room to expand. Redeveloping a Brownfield site would cause House prices to increase in inner city areas as people are encouraged back to the area. This is a benefit for people already living there but, this might mean that other people cannot afford the houses, and the council will have to provide for them which may cause problems.

Basic Infrastructure already exists in Brownfield sites but in Greenfield sites new drainage, electricity, roads etc. would all have to be produced deeming them more expensive. Although Light industry and Science Parks favour out of town locations on Greenfield sites opposed to Brownfield sites and crucially so do their workers who are happier to live away from urban areas. New sites are easier to build on as remains of previous land use do not need to be cleared making them more attractive to retail parks, housing developers etc.

But using Greenfield sites is not sustainable as there is too much pressure on the rural-urban fringe therefore making the development of Brownfield sites a better option. There is an issue of contamination and making sites safe for development, given what the land may have been used for before but towns and cities do not want their areas to decay and redeveloping these areas results in more people coming to the area. This helps local businesses as more people means more customers. Building on Greenfield sites on the other hand pulls people out of the towns and cities causing shops etc. aving to re locate on the edge of and towns and cities. In conclusion I feel looking at the benefits and drawbacks of using Brownfield and Greenfield sites for housing redevelopment it would be most beneficial to use Brownfield sites firstly because it is the more sustainable option also the basic infrastructure already exists as well as there being public transport links already in place in many areas. Also it is would help develop areas which may be suffering and increase house prices within that area, making them more wealthy and hopefully lowering crime rates etc.

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