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We have two examples of projects which show how uneconomic land can be brought into productive use.

The first example is a site that was approved in outline for the development of 100 extra care homes for the elderly. The client came to us for advice when the development proved uneconomic because another care home was approved nearby. We looked at finding alternative uses for the site and very few alternatives were supported by the local planning policy. We advised the client on obtaining a detailed planning consent, the discharge of planning conditions and the implementing of the planning permission so that the planning consent did not expire. Once this had been achieved, the argument was put to the local planning authority that the planning approval for the extra care did not prevent the homes being used for market housing. Advice from an experienced planning lawyer and a QC has resulted in a legal agreement being reached with the planning authority that the site can be used for market housing. This saved the client the expense of applying for a new planning application, and the risk of having to go to appeal. It has delivered a viable and productive use for the site.

At the opposite end of the scale, national planning policy supports the use of well located brownfield land for housing and building at higher densities in areas with good access to facilities. The example pictured is a flat built above the entrance to a service yard in an historic town centre. The site was a simple opening, fenced with chain linked fencing and barbed wire and is located on a popular pedestrian route into the town centre. The development is a sustainable use of the land that preserves the access underneath and improves the character of the area.