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Generation Rent activists link Brownfield Homes with Section 21

Generation Rent has given a qualified thumbs up to Housing Secretary Michael Gove’s ideas for homes on brownfield land.

This week Gove announced that every council in England will be told that it must prioritise brownfield developments and be less bureaucratic and more flexible in applying policies that threaten housebuilding on brownfield land.  

The bar for refusing brownfield plans will also be made much higher for major city councils failing to hit locally agreed housebuilding targets. 


Planning authorities in England’s 20 largest cities and towns will be made to follow a ‘brownfield presumption’, if housebuilding drops below expected levels. This will make it easier to get permission to build on previously developed brownfield sites.

A consultation by the UK government will run until March 26 and the government will look to implement these changes to national planning policy as soon as possible.  

Responding to all this Ben Twomey - chief executive of activist group Generation Rent - says: “One of the key ways to get rents under control is to build more homes, and demand is greatest in cities so we need to make the most of brownfield land. 

“That means making sure we’re building flats where possible and a large proportion is social housing for the people hit the hardest by the housing crisis. But brownfield is not enough – we need to look at extending cities, particularly around existing infrastructure like train stations.”

Twomey then returns to the issue of the Renters Reform Bill currently going through Parliament.

He says: “Announcing new planning rules will not fix things for renters right now. Despite five years of promises, we still face arbitrary eviction and mouldy, draughty homes.

“The Renters Reform Bill is supposed to fix this but has been held up yet again. Unless the Prime Minister urgently brings back and passes the Renters Reform Bill, renters will face many more years of mistreatment and exploitation while we wait for new brownfield homes to be put up."

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    It’s clear to anymore with an IQ in double figures, that these “ properties “ will be the slums of the future 😱, the go ahead to convert old shops and disused commercial buildings is very depressing 😬. I genuinely feel sorry for young FTB’s whom have no recourse to parents cash gifts, and have to live in this type of dwelling. Awful.

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    I see a new era of slum tower blocks similar to those hellish things built between 1960 & 1979. What goes around comes around.


    This is what's coming new build slums in the sky, enjoy

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    Building on new brown field sites. I’m for this. And as for the conversion mentioned above - the councils- will have to be on it so it Don’t happen.

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    • A JR
    • 15 February 2024 08:59 AM

    Where is the money and labour going to come from and how will the end result ever be ‘affordable’?

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    Another day, another rant from Twomey.😡

    Another day, another landlord decides to sell up. Could there be a link I wonder?🤔

    Peter Why Do I Bother

    Actually where is The Twomey on the reports yesterday that 16k houses have been taken out of circulation by councils leasing houses for 5 years to illegal immigrants?

    Surely that should be something that Generation Rant should be all over, young people being pushed out of renting by people arriving in inflatable buses. 16k houses removed also means demand goes up again and by virtue rents follow that....

    This is not difficult but the wrong buttons are being pressed by these Jockeys in trying to find a solution. Maybe try a different blend of bean in your Latte Ben...

  • Peter Why Do I Bother

    I remember a load of brownfield sites being converted by landlords and entrepreneurs bringing life back to disused buildings. Councils let them rot and did not care how they looked. Now they look at them as revenue generators.

    Something is telling me that compulsory purchasing is around the corner...

  • icon

    I thought this was the Brown fields Policy was made years ago.

    Buildings when converted will be yuppy flats. with a nice Juliet Balcony. same as there building now.

  • icon

    If Mr Gove, Wants a Policy that will work . Try This :
    This is the quickest, easiest and most sensible way to way to solve the Rental Houses problem .

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    No need for compulsory purchase when they are controlling us, forcing us to do everything against our will, finance it and them, held to Ransom and no sensible exit allowed.

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    Same lies from Gen Rent as normal. Tenants cannot be arbitrarily evicted from their fixed term contract... They can/will be under the new law lf their landlord wants to sell up.. Sensible reform would have made all periodic tenancies 12 months with one time limited opportunity to serve a Section 21 every 12 months.. Abolishing fixed term is going to make it near impossible for those needing shorterm accommodation, such as internees, to find anywhere to rent. Landlords will demand impeccable references and guarantors.. That will discriminate against immigrants and young people without wealthy parents. Thanks, Grove and ur Gen Rent mates.. .


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