Previously developed land (PDL) will often be considered by local communities as a problematic issue causing visual blight and generating problems by attracting anti-social behaviour. The immediate impact of PDL is the breaking down of the urban fabric, potentially blocking off access routes and attracting anti-social behaviour due to the lack of supervision. All these factors can contribute to breaking down community cohesion. Alternatively, turning a previously developed site into open space can have a positive impact, opening up a dense urban area. Sites with low contamination levels can grow over, creating habitats for wildlife and allowing informal public access in an urban setting.

Case Study: Glan Morfa Community Woodland

Social benefits

Glan Morfa is a former Council tip reclaimed for community use and habitat creation by the local Residents’ Association. It has achieved real community benefits. High quality footpaths now link the site with other parts of the town, schools and long distance footpath to Rhyddlan, increasing the number of people able to enjoy site.

The site has been secured, preventing stolen cars being driven there and set fire to, a frequent problem in the past. The use of motorbikes on the site is reduced, the increased use of the site, and the fact that the paths are now flat and tarmaced (all comply with the Disability Discrimination Act), means that they are not challenging for motorbike riders and therefore of limited interest. The project has benefited from having young people involved through training schemes for groups from the probation service and skill build course.