The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has released the Land Use Change Statistics in England: 2016-17 today, reporting figures pertaining to a reduction in development of brownfield land and an increase in housing delivery in the Green Belt. The figures show that the majority of new residential addresses were created on agricultural land, which accounted for 16% of all addresses created.
The average net density of residential housing delivery remained at the same level as the year 2015-16 at 32 dwellings per hectare, however the amount of residential development on Green Belt land has doubled, rising from 2% in 2015-16 to 4% in 2016-17. Furthermore, of all the residential addresses created in the green belt in 2016-17, 51% were built on previously-developed land, compared to 57% in 2015-16.
These figures show that the release of green belt land for housing development in some local authority areas is inevitable to meet increasing demand for housing amidst the housing crisis and that this is a trend that is likely to increase as more Councils seek deliverable sites to meet objectively assessed local housing need.