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Brownfield update: space for 20,680 homes on recycled land in Hertfordshire

21st March 2024

We’ve recently compiled the latest brownfield data for Hertfordshire’s ten districts and boroughs. Council data shows there is currently enough previously developed land available for a minimum of 20,680 new homes.

This figure is higher than what we reported last year. And even so, it only reflects sites where the landowner has come forward, so the actual opportunity for redeveloping brownfield land into new homes is almost certainly a greater number than this figure reflects.

What does the data show

Year on year, there is a continued increase in identified brownfield sites and in the number of new dwellings that could be realised on those sites.

The most recent Brownfield Land Register data from the ten Local Authorities shows the minimum number of dwellings that could be provided on these sites is 20,680. That’s up by 240 dwellings over last year’s figure of 20,436.

The most recent data also shows an increase in the number of brownfield sites identified, up from 373 to 398.

We think it’s good news that local councils and landowners are identifying and bringing forward more brownfield sites for redevelopment. But it’s very concerning that development of these sites doesn’t seem to be going ahead, even in cases where planning permission is in place.

Local authority Last updated Total No. Sites Total No. Hectares Total Minimum Dwellings (Net)
Broxbourne Mar 19 31 41.91 2838
Dacorum Oct 21 40 71.92 2954
East Hertfordshire Feb 24 16 25.81 1153
Hertsmere Apr 23 88 60.88 2260
North Hertfordshire Dec 22 34 25.53 837
St Albans City & District Dec 21 25 30.05 1173
Stevenage * Nov 23 19 24.05 3731
Three Rivers Jan 24 68 53.01 1508
Watford Dec 19 7 2.07 71
Welwyn Hatfield Mar 23 70 55.83 4155
Total   398 391.06 20680


* Number of sites and hectares in Stevenage excludes town centre;  total minimum dwellings (net) for Stevenage includes town centre.

We are calling on all Hertfordshire local authorities to ensure these brownfield sites are developed, with the right homes for local people’s needs, before building on green fields and in the countryside.

Read more about brownfield

If you want to learn more about brownfield, you can read CPRE’s report State of Brownfield 2022, with in-depth research across the whole of England. Our research found that over 1.2 million homes could be built on 23,000 sites covering more than 27,000 hectares of previously developed land.

So both locally in Hertfordshire and nationally across England, there continues to be massive unrealised opportunity to develop new housing on brownfield land.

Help us support brownfield development and save green fields

Want to help us keep the pressure on councils and the government to utilise brownfield? Please join us, or make a one-off or regular donation. And please sign up below for our newsletter, to keep up to date with all of our work. Your support is greatly appreciated and can make a real difference.

If you’d like to get involved in a more practical way, take a look at our Brownfield toolkit.  The toolkit is designed to help you tell your local council about vacant sites. It’s an easy way to help make sure suitable land is constantly being added to Brownfield Land Registers. Why not see what wasted spaces could be regenerated in your area?

brownfield: a building site being cleared for redevelopment
A former building supply yard being redeveloped into new homes Eliza Hermann