A new report from Audit Wales examines how Welsh Councils are supporting repurposing and regeneration of vacant properties and brownfield sites.
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Audit Wales writes:
This report examines how Welsh councils are supporting and encouraging repurposing and regeneration of vacant properties and brownfield sites into homes or for other uses.
In our report we focus on the barriers facing councils and their partners, but also highlight opportunities to learn from elsewhere.
We found that despite notable amounts of brownfield developments being delivered by councils, regeneration could be increased significantly with a more systematic, interventionist, and collaborative approach.
By drawing on successful approaches elsewhere and more focused planning, councils could be better equipped to overcome significant barriers.
What we found
- Councils have a broad but not comprehensive understanding of the built environment and potential for regeneration.
- While some regeneration is being delivered, the focus is still on ‘easier’ to achieve projects and councils are not always taking an ambitious, interventionist approach to tackle long-standing barriers.
- Councils are able to name barriers to brownfield regeneration and repurposing of empty buildings but are not utilising learning from elsewhere to overcome them.
- It is challenging to measure progress in delivering brownfield regeneration due to weaknesses in data and its management.
We expect the Welsh Government and councils to consider our findings and recommendations.