On the 21st July 2016 Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress they are making in encouraging the development of brownfield sites.” Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: This is not just about housing, important though that is—not least the fact that we are not building enough homes, especially affordable and starter homes; it is also about how we will solve some very difficult, long-term environmental problems relating to brownfield sites. Does the Minister agree that this really is an area where, for example, the housing association sector, with some quite focused work and grants, can make a huge difference both in solving environmental problems and in making a significant contribution to our housing shortage?
Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth: My Lords, a significant number of brownfield sites have already been assigned. Perhaps when we talk about brownfield sites there is an expectation that they will have seen heavy industrial usage. That may not be the case; it may simply be land that has been previously developed. That said, there are measures—not least land remediation relief from the Treasury—that will help where decontamination is an issue.