Industrial wasteland left discarded is an eyesore, an environmental and potential health hazard, and uneconomic. Industrial wasteland often brakes on the development of surrounding communities. These sites are prime candidates for future development given the above factors, whilst redevelopment of industrial wasteland would relieve development pressure on natural lands. Industrial wasteland redevelopment would also stimulate local regeneration. However, industrial wastelands would have to be first cleaned and disposed of toxic materials and wastes. Improved technologies and methods have facilitated the process, though costs can still remain high, particularly when industrial wasteland contains a cocktail of contaminants. Higher costs may then be contained if the clean up process is tailored for a specific land-use, so that land use intended for car parking need not meet the same requirements as that destined for housing.
Statistics issued by the UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions show that in 1995 and 1996, 53% of all new dwellings were built on previously developed land. Conversions of existing dwellings account for a further 3 per cent. Recycling is highest within urban areas, where nearly three quarters of new dwellings were built on previously used sites. But it also significant outside urban areas; 30 per cent of new homes outside urban areas were on previously developed land.