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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Reducing Derelict and Vacant Urban Land

The 2018 Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey shows that the total amount of vacant and derelict urban land in Scotland decreased by 716 hectares (6%) last year, from 11,753 to 11,037 hectares.

Of the 11,037 hectares recorded in the 2018 survey 1,992 (18%) were classified as urban and 9,044 (82%) as derelict.

Since its inception in 2017, the SNP Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund (VDLF) has contributed (either fully or partially) to the reuse of 402 hectares (in total) of previously derelict and urban vacant land across North Ayrshire, Dundee City, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

The fund aims to tackle long-term vacant and derelict land in Scotland. Its objectives are to stimulate economic growth; create jobs; promote environmental justice and improved quality of life; support communities to flourish; and tackle inequalities. It focuses on projects that promote innovation in both temporary and longer term greening techniques for vacant and derelict land sites.

North Ayrshire Council received £2.14 million from the VDLF this year.

In 2018/19, 1.709 million was allocated to North Ayrshire Council (NAC), £1.750 million in 2017/18 and £1.426 million 2016/17.

Excluding derelict mineral sites, the total amount of vacant and derelict urban land decreased from 9,413 hectares in 2012 to 7,973 hectares in 2018 (15% decrease).

In 2018, 350 hectares of land was reclaimed or brought back into use. An additional 632 hectares were naturalised.

Vacant land is land viewed as an appropriate site for development. This must either have had prior development on it or preparatory work has taken place in anticipation of future development.

Derelict land (and buildings) is land so damaged that it is incapable of development for beneficial use without rehabilitation. In addition the land must currently not be used for the purpose for which it is held.

Kenneth Gibson commented:

“Since 2016/17, North Ayrshire Council has received £7.025 million in VDLF funding, which has been and continues to be an important funding source allowing NAC to transform sites such as Ardrossan North Shore, the former Gas Works site in Dalry, Lochshore by Kilbirnie and McDowall Place and Winton Park in Ardrossan.

“The SNP Government recognises that we should bring brownfield sites back into use and the evidence is there to show this approach is working.”


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