Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Statistics stakeholder feedback survey 2023: results

Results of the Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Statistics (SVDLS) stakeholder feedback survey that was undertaken in early 2023.

This document is part of a collection

This paper sets out the results of the SVDLS Stakeholder Feedback Survey that was undertaken in early 2023. The results will help to shape the SVDLS survey.

Sixteen responses were achieved meaning the results contain some very small numbers. For this and to avoid the results being disclosive, exact figures are not reported but general trends instead. Figures do not represent all stakeholders.

This paper will be shared with the Office of National Statistics to feed into a UK-wide stakeholder feedback exercise.

We would like to thank all those who took the time to participate in the survey. No personal data was collected, and response were anonymous. The raw data will be deleted when this paper is published.


Question 1: Which group best represents you?

All stakeholder answered this question.

  • the majority of our stakeholders work in local government, some were third sector/charity and some were other

Question 2: Which of our outputs do you use?

All stakeholders answered this question.

  • the most used output is our excel tables
  • followed by our statistical publication (HTML and/or PDF)
  • followed by our site register
  • only a few use our supporting documents (survey guide, quality assurance process, revisions policy etc.)
  • most use more that one of the above outputs

Question 3: If you do use our Excel tables, which tables do you use?

Less than half of stakeholders answered this question. Some stakeholders said:

  • use table 2 (derelict and urban land by local authority)
  • use the SVDLS A/B/C datasets (which suggests they don’t use our tables but use the quality assured dataset we send back to them for their own in-house analysis)

Question 4: How do you use the SVDLS statistics?

Nearly all respondents answered this questions. Some stakeholders said:

  • to compare a council’s performance to other councils, regions and Scotland level
  • subset the A dataset topics of interest e.g. long-term VDL, landowner sub-categories, previous use, location
  • provide analysis for council’s environmental services
  • to inform development proposals
  • to inform local development plans (LDPs)
  • to answer public inquiries
  • to inform a VDL land supply audit
  • to understand how VDL sites could contribute to housing supply targets (HSTs)
  • to assist with planning applications
  • to inform VDLIP bids i.e. Scottish Government funding

Question 5: What, if anything, could we do to improve our statistics for you?

Less than half of stakeholder answered this question, suggesting that they are content with our SVDLS statistics as they are. Some stakeholders said:

  • display the data using graphs and charts (currently we use tables)
  • display the data using maps and story maps which are more user friendly
  • site codes should be standardised (to avoid duplications and make them more descriptive) and should all have a name associated with them
  • happy with the outputs as they are and simplifying/stylizing the outputs may diminish their usefulness
  • useful to include vacant and derelict buildings

Question 6: The Planning Performance Statistics results are currently broken down by quarter. It has been suggested that this could be changed to six-monthly results. Which do you prefer? 

All stakeholders answered this question.

  • nearly all stakeholders prefer results on quarterly basis
  • only a few would prefer six-monthly results

Question 6: Do you link the VDLS statistics to any other datasets?

Only a few stakeholders answered this question. Some stakeholders said:

  • only a few link the VDLS statistics to other datasets

Question 7: If you do link the VDLS statistics to any other datasets, what datasets do you link to?

Only a few stakeholders answered this question. Some stakeholders said:

  • links to SVDLS shapefiles to allows geospatial outputs/analysis
  • business and industrial land supply
  • employment land supply
  • housing land supply
  • SIMD
  • SEPA flood maps
  • forestry
  • nature conservation
  • green and blue networks (this normally means urban water infrastructure)
  • open space data
  • active travel
  • heat risk assessment (this relates to extreme temperatures)
  • 20-minute neighbourhoods

Question 8: Do you have any additional suggestions or comments about the VDLS statistics?

Less than half of stakeholders responded to this questions. Some stakeholders said:

  • use maps and map the SVDLS register
  • publish SVDLS land owners
  • the Scottish Government Planning should produce a more qualitative assessment portraying their interpretation of each year’s data, including the ‘state of play’ of VDL nationally, how it reflects planning policy and NPF4 e.g. policy 9.
  • make the SVDLS shapefiles open to the public
  • collect information on the potential use of sites and buildings at risk (these areas already collected on registers and might be linked that way)
  • collect more detailed on level of contamination and potential developability
  • add an indicator of when a sight was last survey and is in the process of being taken off the register
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