William Eichler 26 April 2017

Holyrood records decrease in derelict and urban vacant land

The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in Scotland has decreased by 2%, according to the Scottish government.

A National Statistics publication for Scotland has recorded a decrease in the amount of derelict and urban vacant land of 253 hectares in the latest year, from 12,688 hectares in 2015 to 12,435 hectares in 2016.

This is explained by 321 hectares that were brought back into use and 142 hectares that were naturalised. This balances against 165 hectares of new derelict and vacant land reported by local authorities, along with a net increase of 45 hectares due to changes in existing sites.

The most common new use for this land was residential, with 62% (199 hectares) of the land that was brought back into use since the previous survey reclaimed for this purpose.

Of the 165 hectares of new derelict and urban vacant land reported by local authorities, the most common previous land uses were related to manufacturing or other general industrial uses, which accounted for 75 hectares or 45% of new land reported.

The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land has decreased in each year between 2010 and 2016 (except for 2014). These annual changes have combined to show a cumulative increase of 1,064 hectares (9%) in the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land recorded since 2010.

However, when excluding derelict mineral sites there has been a cumulative decrease of 741 hectares (8%) in the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in the last seven years.

The local authority with the largest amount of recorded derelict and urban vacant land is East Ayrshire, containing 2,457 hectares (20% of the Scotland total).

Highland has the second largest amount with 1,342 hectares (11%), North Ayrshire is third with 1,330 hectares (11%), followed by North Lanarkshire with 1,222 hectares (10%) then Glasgow City with 1,111 hectares (9%).

Since its inception in 2005/06, the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund has contributed to the reuse of 367 hectares of previously derelict and urban vacant land across Dundee City, Glasgow City, Highland, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and more recently Fife.

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