This research is fascinating and shows that perhaps with some imagination there are quicker routes to deal with our housing shortage.
Clearly, the figures of themselves do not provide an instant solution as there are always going to be issues on brownfield sites which may constrain housing development - the costs of any clean up and allocated planning use may pose problems in redeveloping such land.
However, what it does show is that there is a raft of redundant land which inevitably could be used for housing.
Is the solution the creation of a formal National Redundant Land Register which could identify sites which may be appropriate for housing use? This would align well with the comprehensive brownfield map by the National Housing Federation but would put a register on a more formal policy footing.
A register would require a categorisation system coupled with a strategy to deliver those sites if they hit the highest category. This may include the use of CPO powers where a site would bring maximum benefit in housing terms and fast track planning with a defined minimum level of social housing.
There would inevitably be a cost to ensure such sites are developed viably and to back this up perhaps a specific brownfield subsidy linked to any site which sits in the highest category.