Whilst large a proportion of brownfield land does provide ideal opportunity for sustainable redevelopment, a small proportion of sites support some of the UK’s most rare and endangered wildlife especially bugs! Brownfield land in the Thames Gateway supports nationally important populations of Shrill carder bees, Streaked bombardier beetles and Distinguished jumping spiders. In fact some of these bugs are found nowhere else! Without brownfield sites these species could become be lost.
According to the Natural England inventory of Open Mosaic Habitat on Previously Developed Land around 8% of brownfield land in England is thought to be of ‘high environmental value’ as defined in recently published guidance.
Osborne suggests that automatic planning permission will be granted on ‘suitable’ sites. Sites classified as ‘high environmental value’ and those listed on the OMH inventory must be excluded from this proposal.