/ Brown field sites and empty old buildings

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Blizzard - on 07 Oct 2012
Post inspired by BBC2's built in Britain.

I just wondered why it is that we constantly develop green field sites, when there appear to be so many older buildings, abandoned factories that could be demolished or redeveloped.

Could anyone in the industry perhaps explain to me why we are not redeveloping more existing sites rather than expanding our cities.
Pagan - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Blizzard:

Development of a brownfield site is costly, may require remedial measures to be carried out to make the land suitable for development (which requires someone to be found to pay up and can take years to design, implement and carry out) and depending on the industrial legacy of the site, may not be suitable for some types of development at all.
Si dH - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Blizzard:
I'm sure Pagan is right, it's a shame though that more funding support can't be given towards re-developing some of the more intersting older, derelict buildings around (old rotten mills etc) or re-building on wasteland, rather than building out-of-town.

On another note I found the programme really interesting and have been searching the internet a bit for any ideas that are out there for future infrastructure projects in the UK - some sort of Think Tank etc - but there seems to be very little - any thoughts?

I am very pro - spending lots of money on infrastructure...
John_Hat - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Blizzard:

Redevelopment of brownfield sites can cost an absolute fortune, especially if its an ex-industrial facility. In the case of using old buildings, very often they don't meet current building regs.

Back when I was a civil engineer, I knew of quite a few old buildings that were knocked down as they couldn't meet current regs and usage requirements (e.g. floor loadings, space for cable ducts, floor-to-floor heights for fire supression systems, lighting, etc) without so much modification that it was much, much, cheaper to flatten the building and start from scratch.
The New NickB - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Blizzard:

Three quarters of all new residential development is on brownfield land.
John Rushby - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to Blizzard:

It depends.

Commercial development is often cheaper on brownfield sites due to planning designation, utility supply, transport access and co-location.

Greenfield tends to be resi by the very virtue that it is green and pleasant and that adds to value.

Successive government schemes tends to favour brown for commercial development and much as I hate to say, Thatcher got it right with the UDCs of the 80's.
The New NickB - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to John Rushby:
> (In reply to Blizzard)
>
> Successive government schemes tends to favour brown for commercial development and much as I hate to say, Thatcher got it right with the UDCs of the 80's.

I think we have had this discussion before, but the UDCs were not terribly efficient vehicles for levering investment, but I agree that the move to regenerate urban areas, rather than ship out, was an important one.
The New NickB - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to John Rushby:

I would also say that what credit is due really belongs to Tarzan.
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John Rushby - on 08 Oct 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

yup

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