Why we should focus on developing brownfield sites

Today, Richard Carr talks about the importance of focusing on brownfield sites when it comes to developing and creating commercial and residential properties.

Develop on brown, not green

As he has spoken about in previous blogs, Richard is strongly against the use of ‘green belt’ land to help relieve the UK of its housing crisis. Calls have been made to edge into the country’s countryside to develop homes, however Richard believes that redeveloping brownfield sites is the way forward.

Richard is a commercial and residential development consultant who has over 30 years of experience in the industry. He has a wide skillset and examples of his work can be seen on the ‘Development’ page of his website.

Richard Carr Manchester City training

Manchester City’s £100m training ground is now complete

Examples of brownfield redevelopment

Richard has cited two examples, which highlight the use of brownfield sites. Inverness College UHI, Scotland, has appointed Lambert Smith Hampton and Shepherd Chartered Surveyors on the sale for mixed-use redevelopment of the landmark former Inverness Royal Academy building and grounds.

The Category B listed buildings, which date back to 1895, offer 42,000 sq ft of space. The £50 million build project is set to be completed in August 2015 when Inverness College will relocate.

Speaking about the development, John Hill, Director of Planning & Development Consultancy at LSH, said: “The Midmills site represents a unique opportunity for a part conversion, part new build residential or mixed use development.

“Highland Council has a preference to see a mixed use development, and a planning and design guidance document has been prepared in consultation with the local authority.”

Another example, is Manchester City’s new Academy centre, which was opened earlier this week. The multi-million pound site which will house every Manchester City player from aged six to First Team professional, has been built on an 80 acre brownfield site.

Use what is readily available

That is the belief of Richard Carr, who says that developers should focus on regenerating communities by using brownfield sites. The local economy of many communities is suffering because of bordered up buildings.

Richard is a firm believer that by building higher it concentrates communities and has many benefits for PLA’s and other agencies. Firstly there is a lot less space to manage and condensed communities become very buoyant economically.

Take Paris vs London (Not Greater London). London is a very condensed city with a lot of people working and living; the rents per sq ft in every bracket of commercial space are vastly higher in London. Residential property London is only beaten by Hong Kong and Monaco, so say I say bigger is better!


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