A LIST of local brownfield sites that could be transformed thanks to a £67 million Government grant is being drawn up, writes Chris Young.
West Yorkshire was awarded the cash, which has to be spent on developing unused, previously developed sites, due to its recent devolution deal with the Government.
It is part of a £400m Government scheme to “unlock” sites that are pricey to develop, and reduce pressure on Green Belt land – which is cheaper to build on.
Brownfield sites can be contaminated, requiring expensive works to make them habitable, and often they require extensive accompanying highway works due to many sites being in busy urban areas.
Brownfield developments also have to consider neighbouring buildings and infrastructure – compromises that can add to the costs of a scheme and put off developers.
West Yorkshire has been included in the funding despite the fact that the first West Yorkshire mayor will not be voted in until next May.
The funding was mentioned at a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Place Panel on Tuesday.
Judith Furlonger, head of housing, said:
“There is a huge amount of work to do on this, but we now have the money to do it.
“We are looking to get into the position where we can get money out and spend it on those sites as soon as possible.”
She said a more detailed report of brownfield sites in West Yorkshire, and how easy it will be develop these sites, would be produced by October.
Bradford Council leader and Chair of the Combined Authority Susan Hinchcliffe said: “In this time and age it is nice to have an announcement like this to celebrate. This is very exciting for the region.”