Temporary uses

There may be genuine value in considering temporary uses for sites where it is not currently viable to promote alternative permanent activity. Uses can include for example: the growing of crops that can be used for energy production including short rotation coppice, in particular given their potential to promote soil remediation; or creating temporary open and garden spaces.

Temporary uses should, however, be approached with caution as there may be a risk that, over time, local communities and stakeholders will associate a permanence and potentially ecological value with a particular space, making future changes difficult to promote without attracting opposition. In considering such opportunities therefore, it is advisable to identify an exit strategy and to ensure that there is ongoing clarity about the temporary nature of a site. For example, in Preston, the HCA has used clear signage on open space adjacent to a residential area identifying that the spaces are reserved for future housing development.

Previously developed land (PDL) can often create visual blight in an area, and even when a site may be earmarked for future development, the period before change occurs can have knock on effects in terms of land and property values and creating a poor impression of an area.