LDA and HCA launch London brownfield database pilot to transform land redevelopment process
Land redevelopment opportunities, including new homes, in London are set to be transformed, thanks to a new freely available online tool, launched today by the London Development Agency (LDA) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Open to all, the London Brownfield Sites Database is the country’s most comprehensive database of land available for redevelopment. This is accompanied by a London specific Best Practice Guide to brownfield land in London.
The Database records around 2,300 previously developed “brownfield” sites across London, equivalent to more than 2% of the land in Greater London. This is an increase of over 1,000 sites than was recorded on the previous National Land Use Database (NLUD) system.
Using up-to-the minute Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, this includes transport routes, deprivation, social infrastructure, as well as heritage and natural environment assets. This is made possible by an Ordnance Survey mapping base that allows additional information to be overlaid. Visitors to the database website will be able to identify sites suitable for development, and better explore and understand a site’s context.
At a time when developers are seeking greater certainty over site availability and site suitability, this information will help to establish clear redevelopment opportunities. Other regional stakeholders such as the Environment Agency, and English Heritage have contributed to the system. London Boroughs can use the data to inform their policies, site specific allocations, and housing and employment land availability assessments.
Peter Bishop, LDA Group Director of Design Development and Environment, said:
"We are delighted with the London Brownfield Sites Database and associated Good Practice Guidance. It provides a very efficient means of accessing information about our world class city. Thanks to the co-operation of Boroughs and regional partners, the Database significantly builds the level of regional intelligence on previously developed land.
“We look forward to continuing to work alongside the Homes and Communities Agency, London Boroughs and our regional partners to promote sustainable development.”
David Lunts, HCA regional director for London, said:
"This new London Database demonstrates the value of an information tool which harnesses the latest technology in an intuitive and visual way.
"The Good Practice Guide is an ideal complement to the Database and an essential ’how to’ for brownfield redevelopment in London. It will also be an essential tool for the HCA’s Single Conversation with our partners in the London boroughs.
“We are already considering how other parts of the country could benefit from this pilot.”
The HCA has said it will now use the Database as their preferred platform for other London Boroughs to record brownfield sites.
Edd Rowe, Senior Information and Research Officer at the London Borough of Lambeth, added:
“The London Brownfield Sites Database will be an invaluable tool for Local Authorities, developers and the public allowing them to keep track of available brownfield sites and what development constraints exist on them. Better monitoring of the brownfield sites available in London will greatly help efforts to maximise gains from regeneration throughout the city and the simple but effective map interface should become a standard for all public sector online mapping systems.”
The LDA has committed ongoing resources to assist Boroughs in compiling their data and in providing support to users. So far, around 50 Borough officers have been trained on how to use the system.
The Database, which has also been shortlisted for an RTPI design award, will be formally launched at the Future of London Show on 8th October, and can be accessed at: http://www.londonbrownfieldsites.org
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