What are ‘brownfield’ sites and why do we build on them?

What are ‘brownfield’ sites and why do we build on them?

A brownfield site refers to previously developed land, which is or was occupied by a permanent structure.

If we develop on brownfield land we encourage urban regeneration and add value back to derelict land. Making use of previously-developed land promotes sustainable development and reduces the pressure on greenfield sites. Brownfield development also reduces infrastructure costs by utilising existing roads and utilities, creating more sustainable neighbourhoods.

Everyone’s a winner.


Community regeneration

When Orgreave Colliery (Rotherham) closed for the final time in 1990 with the loss of over 350 jobs, its future was hard to visualise

British Coal Opencast made the first move to regenerate the area through restoring the site’s tip, making part of the land fit for rebuilding. Since then, momentum has only been growing.

Now, over 1100 homes and over 1.5m sq. ft of commercial space has been developed, alongside 300 acres of usable open space. Community facilities are being built, including Olive Lane, which will create a new heart for Waverley (formerly Orgreave) including restaurants, coffee shops, a gym and retail.

Building on a brownfield site adds to what was once lost. History in the making, Orgreave’s journey to becoming Waverley is one to watch!


Rebuilding Social Fabric

Established in 1871, the paper mill on the edge of Oughtibridge village was closed in 2007 with only converting lines operational. Production ceased at the mill in 2015, leaving an empty shell in its wake.

Sky-House Co purchased the land surrounding the mill, and the mill itself, in 2021.The Old Mill, under construction at time of writing, will be restored into a vast industrial hall. The space will be complete with a bar, coffee shop and kitchen serving small plates. All operations within the Old Mill will be run and executed by JÖRO. A second, larger version of The Cutlery Work’s SHÖP will also retail food products, natural wines, books, kitchen kit and homewares.

The Old Mill will also have an outdoor space overlooking the valley creating the perfect place to connect with friends and family in one of Sheffield’s most beautiful natural settings.

Ultimately, we choose to build on a brownfield site in order to re-establish community, rebuild the local economy and add value to already existing areas.