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Brownfield Land

Volume 454: debated on Tuesday 12 December 2006

The definition of previously developed land is based on the land use change statistics from 1985. It is a practical definition for statistical purposes and should most sensibly remain as set out in the new planning policy statement published 10 days ago.

I thank the Minister for her reply. Large gardens of houses in south Manchester such as the Rookery and Jessiefield are threatened with development. Does the Minister not accept that redesignating gardens as greenfield rather than brownfield sites would afford extra protection against such overdevelopment?

There are practical difficulties in changing the definition in the way that the hon. Gentleman suggests. There is not only the question of how one deals with patios; we do not want to make it harder for people to build extensions in their own gardens and to their own homes. There are ways for local councils to address the problems associated with unsustainable development on garden land. Several local authorities already have such policies, and I suggest that the hon. Gentleman take up the matter with his local council. The new planning policy statement on housing gives local authorities greater powers to have particular policies in this area, and he would be wise to look at that new planning guidance.