LV= Reveals one in Ten Homes Built on Brownfield Sites Have Problems

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

BOURNEMOUTH, England, March 30, 2011 - LV= has revealed that over the next decade around half a million homes
will be built on redeveloped ex-industrial sites that could pose risks to
homeowners and their homes.

A new report from home insurer LV= reveals that around 125 million square
metres of redeveloped brownfield land, earmarked for the building of 500,000
homes, is potentially at risk of flooding or contamination, which could cost
homeowners thousands of pounds to address.

Brownfield sites are defined as land which has potential for
redevelopment after previously being occupied by another permanent building,
such as a factory or industrial works. Redeveloping brownfield sites is a
cornerstone of the current national housing policy, with 79% of all new
builds being built on recycled land in recent years.

Yet according to the LV= research, over one in ten (11%) new homes built
on brownfield land have suffered problems as a result of the land the
property is built on, affecting a total of 74,000 homes in the last ten
years. The most common problem is flooding, but there are also cases of
contamination, poor drainage and sewage problems.

One of the drivers behind the current policy encouraging house builders
to redevelop land is the creation of affordable homes for first-time buyers.
The LV= research shows that few (17%) prospective buyers are actually
specifically looking to buy new build housing, rather many feel that this is
the only option available to them through local authority shared ownership
schemes as many of these properties are new builds. Others say they are
persuaded to buy new build homes because of incentives such as deposit cash
back schemes from developers or free white goods.

Currently, over a third (34%) of prospective buyers are unaware of the
problems associated with former industrial land and a quarter (24%) do not
check the previous use of the land a house is built on. LV= is advising
potential buyers to check the previous use of the land a house is built on
before committing to a purchase, by speaking to neighbours, checking old maps
or commissioning a full environmental report to ensure they do not experience
problems once they've moved in.

John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: "It is
vital that we continue to protect greenbelt land and that new uses can be
found for brownfield sites, especially where there is a shortage of
affordable housing. However, with many new properties being built on
second-hand land, it's vital that potential buyers carry out adequate checks
to find out what their new property is built on so they are aware of the
risks. Regardless of when the property is built, it's always a good idea to
get a structural survey when purchasing a property and to discuss any
potential issues with their insurer to ensure they have adequate cover for
their new home."

About Liverpool Victoria:

LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society
Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of

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    PR Contact:

    Sally Silver
    County Gates
    BH1 2NF

PR Contact: Sally Silver, LV=, County Gates, Bournemouth, BH1 2NF, +44(0)208-256-6896

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