What is a Brownfield Land Register?

The Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 place a responsibility on local planning authorities to prepare and maintain a register of brownfield sites. ‘Brownfield Land’ (or ‘previously developed land’) is defined in Annex 2 of the National Planning Policy Framework as the following:

“Land which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land (although it should not be assumed that the whole of the curtilage should be developed) and any associated fixed surface infrastructure. This excludes: land that is or was last occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings; land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill, where provision for restoration has been made through development management procedures; land in built-up areas such as residential gardens, parks, recreation grounds and allotments; and land that was previously developed but where the remains of the permanent structure or fixed surface structure have blended into the landscape.”

The purpose of the register is to provide house builders with up-to-date information on sites that are available for housing. The aim is therefore to speed up the construction process as house builders will be able to identify suitable sites quickly and easily. This should maximise the number of homes being built on previously developed land and reduce the pressure to develop greenfield sites.

  • Part one of the register will be for sites assessed by a local planning authority as as brownfield land which are ‘suitable’, ‘available’ and ‘achievable’ for residential development of 5 or more dwellings.
  • Part two of the register includes sites to be granted permission in principle (PiP) for housing-led development. PiP will establish the fundamental principles of development in terms of the use, location and amount of development. However, planning permission is not granted until Technical Details Consent is applied for and approved by the Council. At present Portsmouth City Council is not entering any sites on part two for permission in principle, so all sites are on part one of the register only.

Portsmouth's Brownfield Land Register

The register has been informed by sites included in the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) (prepared as part of the evidence base for the emerging Portsmouth Local Plan) and planning applications (both extant and those pending decision). Each site has then been assessed against the criteria set out in the Brownfield Land Register regulations:

  • 0.25 hectares or more in size or capable of accommodating at least 5 dwellings
  • Suitable – The site is free from constraints that cannot be mitigated against and is policy compliant
  • Available – The relevant landowner has expressed an intention to sell or develop the land.
  • Achievable – In the opinion of the local planning authority the development is likely to take place within 15 years of entry on the register.

Portsmouth City Council’s latest Brownfield Land Register can be viewed on the following the link.

How do I submit a site for consideration?

We are keen to hear from landowners and site promoters who are looking to develop brownfield sites for housing led development in the city.

If you have a brownfield site that you would like to see included on the Brownfield Land Register, please email us at planningpolicy@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or alternatively you can write to:

Planning Policy
Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square

Please include the following information:

  • A site plan clearly showing the site boundaries
  • Information about the site ownership and the availability of the site for development

Regulation and guidance

Regulation relating the Brownfield Land Register is found within The Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017. This sets out the legislation regarding the Council’s duty to keep a register.

Further information on preparation and publication of Brownfield Land Registers can be found in Planning Practice Guidance.