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Across the UK there are an estimated 60,000 ha of brownfield land, which are available for regeneration. Brownfield land refers to derelict, underused and neglected land which may previously have been developed for commercial or industrial usage. A number of initiatives have been set up that are intended to promote the redevelopment of brownfield land to housing and green space, thereby reducing the use of greenfield sites for development purposes. In 1998 the Government announced a target of building 60% of new houses on brownfield sites by 2008. This target has been exceeded, as in 2008 an estimated 79% of new housing was delivered on such land.

Land regeneration schemes in the UK include:

  • The National Brownfield Strategy for England was established to help understand and overcome the problems which are preventing brownfield sites from being brought back into use. The strategy considers brownfield use in the widest sense including all types of development as well as various green end uses, such as parks
  • Coalfield programme involved the restoration of colliery spoils at a number of sites in the UK
  • Newlands, developed by the Northwest Development Agency and the Forestry Commission, is a unique £59 million scheme that will reclaim large areas of derelict, underused and neglected land across England’s Northwest and transform them into thriving, durable, community woodlands
  • South West England china clay spoil restoration
  • Thames Chase Community Forest aimed to increase the area of community woodland on formerly industrial land.
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