Industrial opinion: Gazumping


Is the land supply for industrial about to go down sharply, as the housing market picks up? Peter Doleman gives his opinion.

“Probably, yes, but the whole point of the planning system is to differentiate between land suitable for residential development and land suitable for employment purposes so that both uses are catered for satisfactorily. There has to be a balance and a sensible level of supply for both sectors.

“It is therefore vital for local planning authorities to protect land that is suitable for employment uses. It is their responsibility to regulate development and land use in the interests of the community, which is informed by wider planning strategy and policies.

Inevitably, landowners will sway towards the highest possible land value; residential in most cases and therefore there will be pressure on the supply of land for employment as a lower value use.

“To give a positive case from my locality, in Leicester, the regeneration efforts within the city centre stalled due to the downturn, but with confidence now returning, this will hopefully see a number of former industrial sites redeveloped for more appropriate purposes which will improve the physical environment presently blighted by dereliction.”