Brownfield Vs Greenfield: Join our campaign

By Annabelle Sanderson
2nd November 2021

CPRE Wiltshire is passionate that planning in the county follows the principle of ‘brownfield first’ and welcomes the announcement by the government that councils should follow this principle in their planning decisions.

It does not address the elephant in the room that we build 300,000 houses a year – which everyone including the government knows is unachievable – but it is a much welcome development.


Brownfields should be 100% the first port of call for new homes – that is the opinion of CPRE Wiltshire.

There is no excuse for local councils to sell off green spaces to developers when there are brownfield sites which should be the preferred locations for necessary housing and other buildings. It goes without saying these should be based on need not greed and should be sustainable.
In Wiltshire – and across the country – we have a duty to protect green spaces which vital to our health and wellbeing and for future generations. The promise of a ‘quick buck’ is simply not a good enough reason to destroy beautiful outdoor spaces and habitats for wildlife.
CPRE Wiltshire are launching an audit of brownfield sites and will be presenting them to the council and we will be asking local people to join in this project so we can all do something to keep our county beautiful.

We are making this brownfield tool available to local authorities for use in such projects as   the Trowbridge Neighbourhood Plan and in the work of the Wiltshire Area Localism and Planning Group

In order to press for more brownfield site developments and preserve green field sites it is important that there is an up to date Brownfield register. You can find details of WIltshire Council’s register here.

What is a brownfield land register?

This is a register which sets out previously developed land that a local planning authority considers appropriate for residential development. Councnils are required to publish them and review it at least annually.

Sites meeting the criteria are:

  • Sites with planning permission as at 31 March 2019; or
  • Adopted allocations in a Local Plan; or
  • Allocations in a made Neighbourhood Plan, or
  • Submitted available sites that the Council considers appropriate.

CPRE are looking for people to contribute locations which could be considered for the register – because the more brownfield sites the better chance of protecting green spaces!

The next window of opportunity to press for more brownfield sites in Trowbridge will be the pre-submission consultation on the Wiltshire Local Plan which you can find here.   This is due to begin before the end of 2021 and go on into 2022 prior to submission in the autumn of next year. The priorities in order to have influence on the plan are:

  • To get more sites registered on the Wiltshire Brownfield Register here. 10 out of 69 are already in Trowbridge – though they are mainly small scale – so there are plenty of opportunities both in and around Trowbridge and the whole county!
  • To identify more sites that should be on the register but haven’t been processed by the end of the consultation.

If this is something you believe you can help out with, you just need to get in touch and provide us with some information. It’s the kind of project where ‘many hands make light work’ and where your local knowledge will be invaluable.

You can contact CPRE Wiltshire with your suggestions on the form below.

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