Defenders of greenfield land fail to mention that many brownfield sites are cut off, contaminated and unsuitable for housing
If you wanted a single fact to demonstrate that “brownfield” is not always a useful term when deciding where to build houses, you could do worse than this: until a few years ago, it included back gardens.
That may seem counterintuitive: brownfield, after all, summons up mental images of derelict factories and so forth. But in its original sense, it simply meant “not greenfield” – that is, land that had already been developed – and gardens, being attached to houses, were fair game. And so, it would have been theoretically possible to concrete the country’s gardens and still claim you had only built on brownfield. This was self-evidently ridiculous, so in 2010 the government changed the rules.