I was taught that building houses on old commercial land was a great way to to solve the shortage of housing without using up the countryside. Typical recent examples of this include some of land near the docks (in Ipswich) and an area of land off Woodbridge Road (as reported recently in the Evening Star). But what never seems to be reported is the new commercial building that takes place on greenfield sites in order to free up the brownfields.

In order for some of the new flats to be built on the old Holden Timber yard, they moved to a new premises on what appears to previously have been farmland (Masterlord Office Village). The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) have also just opened a new Driving Test Centre, presumably freeing up their old site for housing, however the new centre is built in the same area. I can see some commercial benefits of Holden’s move but the DSA’s must surely be all about money as their old site, being closer to town, must be worth more. Surely the benefit of building houses on old industrial land is outweighed if business and government departments have to move and build new premises in order to free up the land.


DSA Press Release regarding their new site

This press relese says that the new site combines the operations of the two previous local centres. This does show some reason for this move.

However these are simply two examples that I noticed recently, I still stand by my original train of thought that people should not rave about how much brownfield development is taking place if greenfield sites have to be used up to free up the brownfields.