Philip Box, Policy Advisor at UK Green Building Council said: 

We welcome plans announced today to encourage development on brownfield sites. As we tackle the biodiversity and climate crises, it is vital that we maximise the use of previously developed land and turbocharge regeneration. As some brownfield sites will have higher value for nature than degraded greenfield, it is vital that policies such as biodiversity net gain ensures any possible loss is fully accounted for and addressed. 

However, we are concerned that proposals to streamline the conversion of office buildings into residential accommodation risks generating a new wave of ‘slums’, and poorer quality development. The evidence is clear – from the Government’s own research to the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission – that PDR of this kind risks poorer quality design, environmental outcomes and quality of life for residents. 

Whilst steps to address the housing affordability crisis are commendable, we urgently need the promised climate review of the NPPF, to ensure new development is fit for the future, not just a numbers game.”