January 31 2012

Make Good or Get Rid. Time to Get Tough with Regeneration?

Brownfields in the United Kingdom

Brownfield sites prime for building. Derelict architecture crying out to be regenerated. Both are common sites up and down the United Kingdom, but why? With a long standing housing shortage only predicted to get worse, what are we doing to utilise these potentially valuable resources?

The value of the land on which they sit is key. Developers want to maximise their profits, ideally with as little input as possible. So rather than regenerating and the costly process of hiring an architect, developing and completing a scheme, they are content to sit tight with a degenerating site. As long as the land value is increasing, securing a bigger profit at the end of the day, they will wait for years, even decades. This selfish approach gives no thought to neighbours who have to put up with their own home values suffering as a result of the unsightly shell two doors down.

So what can we do? Whilst I’m sure there are already long-winded procedures in place perhaps to deal with this issue, perhaps now is the time for councillors and urban planners to get tough. Why can’t we give them the power to to take derelict land away from the owners? It could be given a fixed time-frame, so that if a plot lies empty for 3 or 5 years without a conscious and meaningful effort to either sell the land or redevelop the property local councils have the right to inherit it.

Surely this is a more sustainable urban design concept than the current cycle of decay and large scale regeneration that happens country wide?

And with so many people desperate to get on the property ladder what better way is there of bringing quality housing stock to the market quickly?

Credits: Image and data linked to sources.

Ashley Roberts

Ashley Roberts is a recent graduate of the University of Nottingham, England, with a Diploma in Architecture and is now studying for his part-three accreditation. Still living in Nottingham, but with strong links to Liverpool and London, he has a passion for the continued and sustainable development of all three cities. Ashley has a particular interest in how we can use green technologies as a catalyst to improve the spaces around us. Follow him on twitter: @ashjroberts

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 at 7:14 pm and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Energy, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, History/Preservation, Housing, Land Use, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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