LV = Reveals One In Ten Homes Built On Brownfield Sites Have Problems
Released on: March 30, 2011, 8:28 am
LV= has revealed that over the next decade around half a
million homes will be built on redeveloped ex-industrial sites that
could pose risks to homeowners and their homes.
A new report from home insurer LV= reveals that around 125 million square metres of
redeveloped brownfield land, earmarked for the building of 500,000 homes, is
potentially at risk of flooding or contamination, which could cost homeowners
thousands of pounds to address.
Brownfield sites are defined as land which has potential for redevelopment after
previously being occupied by another permanent building, such as a factory or
industrial works. Redeveloping brownfield sites is a cornerstone of the current
national housing policy, with 79% of all new builds being built on recycled land in
Yet according to the LV= research, over one in ten (11%) new homes built on
brownfield land have suffered problems as a result of the land the property is built
on, affecting a total of 74,000 homes in the last ten years. The most common problem
is flooding, but there are also cases of contamination, poor drainage and sewage
One of the drivers behind the current policy encouraging house builders to redevelop
land is the creation of affordable homes for first-time buyers. The LV= research
shows that few (17%) prospective buyers are actually specifically looking to buy new
build housing, rather many feel that this is the only option available to them
through local authority shared ownership schemes as many of these properties are new
builds. Others say they are persuaded to buy new build homes because of incentives
such as deposit cash back schemes from developers or free white goods.
Currently, over a third (34%) of prospective buyers are unaware of the problems
associated with former industrial land and a quarter (24%) do not check the previous
use of the land a house is built on. LV= is advising potential buyers to check the
previous use of the land a house is built on before committing to a purchase, by
speaking to neighbours, checking old maps or commissioning a full environmental
report to ensure they do not experience problems once they've moved in.
John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: "It is vital that we
continue to protect greenbelt land and that new uses can be found for brownfield
sites, especially where there is a shortage of affordable housing. However, with
many new properties being built on second-hand land, it's vital that potential
buyers carry out adequate checks to find out what their new property is built on so
they are aware of the risks. Regardless of when the property is built, it's always
a good idea to get a structural survey when purchasing a property and to discuss any
potential issues with their insurer to ensure they have adequate cover for their new
LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS)
and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.
As the UK's largest friendly society we're here to help you make the best choices
when it comes to your money. With a range of car insurance, home
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good value and award-winning, we're bound to have something to interest you.
LV= employs around 4,500 people, serves over four million customers and members, and
manages around £8.0bn (as at 31 December 2010) on their behalf, via LV= Asset
Management (LVAM). We are also the UK's largest friendly
society and a leading mutual financial services provider. www.LVAM.co.uk.
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