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RTPI seeks to protect commercial land

26 March 2024

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has expressed its support for the government to build more homes on brownfield land but not at the expense of commercial, industrial and logistics uses.

By Liza Helps Property Editor Logistics Matters

IN ITS CONSULTATION response to the Government’s proposal to free up brownfield sites for residential development the RTPI has emphasised the importance of ensuring that new market housing does not displace commercial, industrial, and logistics uses for brownfield sites that are critical for local economic growth.

Only last week Logistics Matters reported that Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had launched a political salvo at Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London to free up 1,800 acres of industrial land for residential use in the Capital through a review of the London Plan.

The plan ring fenced strategic industrial sites after it was found that London lost nearly a quarter of its industrial land to other uses since 2000, stifling economic growth and putting the capital at risk of not being able to function. 

British Property Federation Assistant Policy Director, Planning and Development Sam Bensted, said: “While the need to tackle London’s housing crisis is irrefutable, the idea that we can relocate employment uses outside of the M25 to free up land for new homes fundamentally misunderstands how our cities work and the need to create housing and jobs side-by-side.”


Looking at the issue on a wider national scale the RTPI underlines the sentiment that housing and jobs need to be developed side-by-side. RTPI Chief executive Victoria Hills, said: “We welcome the government’s drive to deliver more homes on brownfield land. However, it is crucial that new developments are well-planned and of high quality, and that they do not displace important commercial and industrial uses that play an important role in supporting sustainable mixed-use places including local economies.

“With the right support and funding, we can ensure that brownfield sites are brought back into use in a way that benefits local communities and contributes to economic growth.”