Developing brownfield land:arguments for a more active local state


This article summarises the approach taken by English policy-makers in the last 20 years towards brownfield development, which they consider desirable but largely to be delivered by the market, rather than the state. Recent policy developments are outlined, with a clear trend towards liberalisation of the planning system. The article contends that this misses an opportunity: brownfield development in England often relies on local authorities playing an active role, and there is compelling evidence from continental Europe, notably France and Germany, that powers for an active local state are important in realising its potential.



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