Decrease in derelict and urban vacant land
A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.
Scotland’s Chief Statistician has today released the latest annual statistics on the extent of vacant and derelict land in Scotland.
Data from the 2018 Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey gives the following results:
The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in Scotland has decreased by 716 hectares (6%) in the latest year, from 11,753 hectares in 2017 to 11,037 hectares in 2018.
Of the 11,037 hectares of derelict and urban vacant land recorded in the 2018 survey 1,992 hectares (18%) were classified as urban vacant and 9,044 hectares (82%) were classified as derelict.
The net decrease of 716 hectares (6%) between 2017 and 2018 is the result of 350 hectares being brought back into use, 632 hectares recorded as naturalised (including 561 hectares of former open cast coal sites in East Ayrshire where restoration schemes are now complete), the addition of 187 hectares in new sites and a net increase of 79 hectares as a result of changes to existing sites and removal of sites that do not meet the required definitions.
Five authorities have more than 1,000 hectares of derelict and urban vacant land. East Ayrshire has the largest area (1,810 hectares), 16% of the Scotland total. Glasgow City has the largest area of the City Authorities (1,005 hectares), 9% of the Scotland Total.
The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land has decreased each year between 2012 and 2018 except for 2014 when there was an increase of 2,091 hectares compared to 2013, largely due to over 2,200 hectares of former surface coal mine sites in East Ayrshire that had become derelict following the liquidation of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources in 2013.
The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in Scotland has shown a net decrease of 3% since 2012 (from 11,342 hectares in 2012 to 11,037 hectares in 2018). Excluding derelict mineral sites, the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land has decreased from 9,413 hectares in 2012 to 7,973 hectares in 2018 (15% decrease).
For those sites where the previous use is known, 29% of derelict and urban vacant land had been previously used for mineral activity (3,080 hectares), 20% for manufacturing (2,137 hectares) and a further 12% for defence (1,270 hectares). For urban vacant land, where previous use is known, the largest area was previously in residential use (16%, 279 hectares). For derelict land the largest area with a known use had a previous use for mineral activity (35%, 3,064 hectares). 79% of derelict and urban vacant land, where the development potential was known, was reported to be developable with 27% (2,688 hectares) considered developable in the short term (development within five years).
21% of derelict and urban vacant land, where the development potential was known, was considered uneconomic to develop and/or is viewed as suitable to reclaim for a ‘soft’ end use (i.e. non-built use).
Overall in Scotland 29.1% of the population were estimated to live within 500 metres of a derelict site, though there were differences across the country. Shetland and Orkney had the lowest percentage, both less than 1%.
58% of people living in the most deprived decile in Scotland are estimated to live within 500 metres of derelict land, compared to 11% of people in the least deprived decile.
350 hectares of land was reclaimed or brought back into use in 2018. An additional 632 hectares were recorded as naturalised.
More sites were reclaimed or brought back into use for residential purposes than any other use (163 of the 318 reused sites), covering 194 of the 350 hectares brought back into use.
Almost half of the 350 hectares of Derelict and Urban Vacant Land brought back into use in 2018 (173 hectares) were listed as private sector funded.
109 hectares, 31% of the 350 hectares of Derelict and Urban Vacant Land brought back into use in 2018 involved some form of public funding, either a full or partial contribution.
Since its inception in 2005/06, the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund has contributed (either fully or partially) to the reuse of 402 hectares (in total) of previously derelict and urban vacant land across Dundee City, Fife, Glasgow City, Highland, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.
The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
Notes to Editors
Vacant land is land unused for the purposes for which it is held and is viewed as an appropriate site for development. This land must either have had prior development on it or preparatory work has taken place in anticipation of future development.
The above figures cover vacant land (referred to as Urban Vacant) located within settlements of over 2,000 in population (as defined in council local plans). Some local authorities have also surveyed for vacant land within settlements of under 2,000 in population. Information on those results can be found in the Annex of the statistical publication.
Derelict land (and buildings) is land which has been so damaged by development, 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 or a use acceptable in the local plan. Land also qualifies as derelict if it has an un-remedied previous use which could constrain future development.
For both vacant and derelict land, site records must be at least 0.1 hectares in size to be included.
The full statistical publication is available alongside an infographic summary of key findings, Excel versions of tables and charts, and a site-level dataset. The publication contains a summary of results from the 2018 Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey along with commentary and tables on longer term trends.
The Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey (SVDLS) is a data collection undertaken to establish the extent and state of vacant and derelict land in Scotland. The survey has been operating since 1988. The data is sourced from local authorities and the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority. Most authorities submit data annually with a Survey base date of 31st March. Highland last updated their survey in 2015 and so their data is carried over from the 2015 survey.
The main purpose of these statistics is to provide the evidence base for monitoring the extent and state of urban vacant and derelict land, the remediation of vacant and derelict land and progress in bringing it into re-use, and to inform the programming of rehabilitation, planning and reuse of urban vacant and derelict sites.
The statistics are used by the Scottish Government to help allocate and monitor the impact of the Vacant and Derelict Land Fund (VDLF). The VDLF is one element of regeneration investment and 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, and to support communities to flourish and tackle inequalities.
The statistics contribute to the Government's performance indicator for sustainable communities that measures progress on Housing and Regeneration outcomes. Further information on this can be found at: http://www.gov.scot/About/Performance/scotPerforms/partnerstories/HARO/Indicators
Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About