Greenfield Land

Greenfield land is often farmland, which has not been developed and has no statutory protection.

Green Belt Land

Green Belt is protected from development and is designated around certain cities and large built-up areas. The designation of Green Belt land is not attributed based on environmental quality, and has the following aims:

  • To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
  • To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land

Landowners looking at land promotion

Working with farmers and their land

There are some interesting statistics from the Institute of Economic Affairs regarding the Green Belt:

  • The size of the Green Belt has more than doubled since 1979 - its total size growing from 721,500 hectares to 1,634,700 hectares
  • This amounts to roughly 13 per cent of the land area of England, and covers one and a half times as much land as our towns and cities put together

Brownfield Land

Unlike greenfield land, brownfield land is, or was, occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.

These sites have already been developed so their use for housing reduces urban sprawl.

Many brownfield sites are developed yearly, however, this is not enough to meet Local Authority housing needs.  Therefore, greenfield sites are also needed.

The majority of strategic land is owned by farmers, institutions and landed estates.

How strategic land and the planning process works

The potential value of strategic land is achieved by adding value to the land by promoting it through the planning system and achieving planning permission. 

Local Plans set out the local area's housing needs and identify suitable locations for future housing, infrastructure, employment and services.

Some land may already be allocated within Local Plans and others need to be promoted through the Local Plan and its Call for Sites process.

A Local Plan is prepared by a Local Authority and involves local residents, landowners and developers making formal representations during its consultation process. 

As a land promoter Catesby Estates are very experienced in making these representations and making sure your land stands out from the crowd to provide it with the best chance of becoming an allocated site.

Land promotion site

What makes one land site better than another for housing development?

A good site is technically deliverable with good highways access, good drainage and delivers ecological benefits (Bio-diversity Net Gain). 

These site benefits are set out in what is often known as a Vision Document which summarises the site’s potential development credentials and how this fits with the Local Authority’s overall ambitions for the area.

Future proposed housing development

Strategic land is crucial to the building of new homes

It is well documented in the national press that the UK has a housing crisis. 

Ever-increasing prices, and a shortage of homes makes it increasingly difficult for younger generations to get on the property ladder. 

Renting for many is the only option, making saving for a deposit and taking that next step of applying for a mortgage challenging.

There is not enough of the type of homes people need, ranging from small single-person dwellings to bungalows and smaller starter homes of 2 bedrooms for new families.

Sustainable new homes

Economic benefits of building new homes

Building homes doesn’t just address the housing crisis, but also supports the economy too.  The land promotion and housebuilding sector contribute through a range of taxes, in addition to the millions of Section 106 and CIL contributions which are made towards local facilities and services.

These provide funding towards education and health facilities, sport and leisure facilities, community facilities and open space.

New homes also increase local expenditure as new residents spend their money on goods and services in the local area thus supporting local businesses.

Are you wondering if your land would make a good strategic land site?  Let Catesby Estates undertake a free no obligation appraisal of your land to see whether it has future development potential.


Key factors that make land more strategic for development than other sites

Land site location

Location is the most important factor when determining the suitability of a site.  New development should connect into the existing built form of a village or town.

Access to existing services and facilities such as healthcare and education are key.  Larger standalone sites that are delivering their own facilities can have more flexibility.

Development impact on the local area

Planning policy protects areas within National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

This provides opportunities for those sites which are not covered by these designations.   You also need to consider proximity of the site to listed buildings and conservation areas and the impact of your site on local heritage. 

Is the land site deliverable?

Drainage, gradient and access also have a strong influence on a land site's suitability for housing.

Greenfield land sites

A growing population

The population of England and Wales grew by more than 3.5 million (6.3%) since the last census in 2011, when it was circa 56 million. 

On Census Day, 21 March 2021, the size of the usual resident population in England and Wales was 59,597,542 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The population is rising but the number of new homes being built has been slowing for years. The Home Builders Federation (HBF) analysis shows housebuilding is at its lowest level since the second world war.

Building new homes across the UK