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East of England Roundtable "Where to House the Nations"

Wednesday, 20 July 2016 at 1:00PM - 4:00PM
Cambridge Professional Development Centre, Foster Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB2 9NL, UK
RTPI East of England

The East of England Region of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) would like to invite you to a Roundtable Discussion on:

“Where to House the Nations”

The Roundtable is being arranged to consult with members in the East of England Region on the matter of housing land for the future, to provide the RTPI centrally with a basis for its ongoing work on policy and research. 

Numbers are strictly limited for this Roundtable event and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

TO BOOK: Please reserve your place using the form below, under the heading BOOK HERE.

These facilitated discussions on "Where to House the Nations" will consider the following key issues:

  • Brownfield First? - There are two extreme positions on the priority to be afforded to brownfield land. On the one hand, it is argued that if there is enough identified brownfield sufficient for housing need, no greenfield land should be used at all. Others argue that greenfield land which is not subject to environmental or heritage considerations should be counted alongside all other sites that are available for development. This debate is complicated by the time lag in bringing forward some brownfield sites. 
  • Urban Intensification - In many people’s eyes, brownfield land is equated with “derelict and vacant” land. However, land in existing residential use is technically “brownfield” (excepting gardens in built up areas (England NPPF). Its use at higher densities is one way in which the pressure on greenfield land can be reduced.  Such urban intensification generally has the advantage being within an established market for residential properties, and contamination is not likely. However, the impact of intensification on existing residents can be much higher, and is often characterised as ‘town cramming’. One reason why there are many arguments for using greenfield land is that there are planning policy constraints on intensification. It’s seen as either “up” or “out”. Therefore, the policy approach to such urban intensification is critical to any policy position on use of greenfield land.
  • Green Belts and Greenfield Land - The development of greenfield land is always potentially contentious, whether it is designated green belt or not. Green belts have special protection in policy, as well being especially cherished by local communities. However, the socio-economic context has changed significantly from those that prevailed when they were first designated. This is complicated by the fact that in many RTPI Nations the policy regarding green belts is made nationally and is identical across the relevant country, but circumstances vary, and green belts are supposed to be reviewed locally.