5 Derelict Land: Levels and Location
5.1 This section focuses exclusively on derelict land, its levels over the past seven years and its location within Scotland. As previously stated, derelict land is land which has been so damaged by development, that it is incapable of development for beneficial use without rehabilitation. 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.
5.2 Table 5 shows the area of recorded derelict land in the years 2010-2016, split by local authority. It should be noted that a small number of councils did not participate in every survey between 2010 and 2016.
5.3 Overall, the total amount of derelict land has shown a net increase of 1,487 hectares (17%), from 8,792 hectares in 2010 to 10,279 hectares by 2016. Some councils have seen large percentage decreases (Dundee City, down 58% and Perth & Kinross, down 50%) whereas others have seen increases in levels of derelict land. The larger percentage changes for some councils (for example Argyll & Bute, Clackmannanshire and Moray) are due to there only being a small base of recorded land in 2010. East Ayrshire has almost nine times the amount of derelict land in 2016 compared to 2010. This large increase is due to the addition of 2,217 hectares of land that became derelict due to the liquidation of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources in 2013 causing several surface coal mines to fall out of use. Two larger sites added in the latest year are surplus land (28 hectares) at the INEOS  site in Grangemouth, Falkirk and the former manufacturing site (25 hectares) at Kilbagie in Clackmannanshire. Excluding derelict mineral sites, the total amount of derelict land in Scotland has shown a net decrease of 5% (317 hectares) since 2010 (from 6,990 hectares in 2010 to 6,673 hectares in 2016).
5.4 The six councils recording the largest amount of derelict land are East Ayrshire (2,386 ha), Highland (1,276 ha), North Ayrshire (1,124 ha), North Lanarkshire (1,078 ha), Renfrewshire (708 ha), and Glasgow City (640 ha). Together these councils account for 70% of all derelict land recorded in 2016. East Ayrshire on its own accounts for nearly a quarter of all derelict land recorded in 2016.
5.5 Out of these 6 councils East Ayrshire had the biggest increase in its amount of derelict land from 279 hectares in 2010 to 2,386 hectares (almost nine fold increase). North Ayrshire increased only slightly from 1,116 hectares in 2010 to 1,124 hectares in 2016 (up 1%). Glasgow City had the largest decrease in its amount of derelict land from 693 to 640 hectares (down 8%), Renfrewshire decreased from 765 hectares to 708 hectares (down 7%), Highland from 1,373 hectares to 1,276 hectares (down 7%) and North Lanarkshire from 1,139 hectares to 1,078 hectares (down 5%).
Table 5: Total Derelict Land by local authority area, 2010-2016 1,2,3
|Local Authority||Total Derelict land Area (ha)||% Change 2010-2016 5|
|Argyll & Bute 4||9||8||8||9||8||37||37||337%|
|Dumfries & Galloway 6||448||448||455||455||454||427||427||-5%|
|East Lothian 6||77||74||57||57||56||71||71||-8%|
|Edinburgh, City of||121||125||112||111||110||95||95||-22%|
|Loch Lomond & the Trossachs 4||n/a||28||26||26||25||25||25||n/a|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||-8%|
|Perth & Kinross 4||38||40||39||37||25||25||19||-50%|
|West Dunbartonshire 4||189||174||172||168||168||167||157||-17%|
|West Lothian 6||417||416||416||416||412||341||341||-18%|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. See Annex Table E for details of council participation in different years.
3. During 2016, historical data for the years 2010-2015 were revised to remove sites that had been taken out of the survey for definitional reasons and to correct any revisions to the data highlighted in the 2016 survey returns. Further information on this process is available in the Annex along with un-amended historical data for the survey years of 1996-2009.
4. From 2011 LLTNP took responsibility for surveying vacant and derelict land within the park boundaries. These sites are no longer recorded in Argyll & Bute, Perth & Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire local authority boundaries, and are separately identifiable as LLTNP from 2011. Prior to 2011, these sites were classified within the relevant local authority boundary.
5. Previous SVDLS bulletins have used different base years for percentage change and so these percentages should not be compared with those in previous bulletins.
6. 2016 data for Dumfries & Galloway, East Lothian, Highland and West Lothian is carried over from 2015.
5.6 Table 6 shows the number, location and average size of derelict sites by local authority in 2016. The average size of a derelict site in Scotland is 5.2 hectares. Just over three quarters of all Scotland's derelict sites are found within a settlement. The remaining quarter is within the countryside. Whilst a clear majority of derelict sites are located within settlements, there is actually more derelict land outside of settlements (in the countryside) than within. This is because the average size of a countryside site is 14.5 hectares, whereas the average size of a settlement-based derelict site is only 2.2 hectares. Averages have been calculated from the sizes of each reported separate parcel of land rather than the combined size within any one particular site such as those for former surface coal mines. 6,968 hectares of derelict land is currently located within the countryside. This is 68% of the total derelict land in Scotland, whereas the remaining 32% (3,311 hectares) is located within a settlement. It is notable that the 628 hectare former Royal Ordnance site in Renfrewshire and the 507 hectare former surface coal mine near Glenbuck, East Ayrshire between them increase the average size of countryside sites from 12.2 to 14.5 hectares, an increase of 19%.
5.7 North Lanarkshire has the largest number of settlement-based derelict sites with 303 recorded in 2016. North Lanarkshire also has the largest amount of derelict land recorded within settlements in 2016 (770 hectares). This accounts for almost a quarter of all settlement-based derelict land.
5.8 North Lanarkshire also has the largest number of countryside-based derelict sites with 91 (309 hectares) recorded in 2016. East Ayrshire and Highland collectively account for almost half of all countryside-based derelict land. This is due mainly to the presence of some very large derelict sites, namely the former surface coal mines (collectively 2,124 hectares) in East Ayrshire and the Fearn/Fendom Airfields (collectively 681 hectares) as well as Ardersier Port (255 hectares) in Highland.
Table 6: Location of Derelict Sites by local authority and average site size, 2016 1,2
|Local Authority||In a Settlement||In the Countryside||All Derelict Land|
|Area (ha)||% of LA's sites in settlements (by Area)||No of Sites||Average Site Size||% of Scottish sites in settlements (by Area) 3||Area (ha)||% of LA's sites in the Countryside (by Area)||No of Sites||Average Site Size||% of Scottish sites in the Countryside (by Area) 4||Area (ha)||No of Sites||Average Site Size|
|Argyll & Bute 5||8||21||8||1.0||*||29||79||3||9.8||*||37||11||3.4|
|Dumfries & Galloway 6||30||7||22||1.3||1||397||93||11||36.1||6||427||33||12.9|
|East Lothian 6||22||32||9||2.5||1||49||68||16||3.0||1||71||25||2.8|
|Edinburgh, City of||93||98||30||3.1||3||2||2||1||1.8||*||95||31||3.0|
|Loch Lomond & the Trossachs 5||25||100||10||2.5||1||-||-||-||-||-||25||10||2.5|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||1||100||3||0.4||*||-||-||-||-||-||1||3||0.4|
|Perth & Kinross 5||13||69||20||0.7||*||6||31||4||1.5||*||19||24||0.8|
|West Dunbartonshire 5||157||100||56||2.8||5||-||-||-||-||-||157||56||2.8|
|West Lothian 6||103||30||17||6.1||3||238||70||27||8.8||3||341||44||7.7|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. Settlements as defined by Local Authorities in their latest council approved local plans (see Annex Section A.6).
3. As a percentage of the total amount of derelict land that is within a settlement in Scotland.
4. As a percentage of the total amount of derelict land that is within the countryside in Scotland.
5. From 2011 LLTNP took responsibility for surveying vacant and derelict land within the park boundaries. These sites are no longer recorded in Argyll & Bute, Perth & Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire local authority boundaries, and are separately identifiable as LLTNP from 2011. Prior to 2011, these sites were classified within the relevant local authority boundary.
6. Data for Dumfries & Galloway, East Lothian, Highland and West Lothian is carried over from 2015.
5.9 Chart 2 shows the ten councils with the largest amount of derelict land in relation to the size of their administrative area. The figures for all councils can be found in Table C in the annex. Approximately 3.7% of Glasgow City's total land area is derelict. The comparative figures for the next highest councils are 2.7% in Renfrewshire, 2.3% in North Lanarkshire, 1.9% in East Ayrshire, 1.3% in North Ayrshire and 1.0% in West Dunbartonshire. Across Scotland as a whole 0.1% of all land is derelict.
Chart 2: Local Authorities with the largest amount of
Derelict Land as a percentage of local authority administrative
1. Data for West Lothian is carried forward from 2015.
5.10 Table 7 shows the characteristics of derelict land in Scotland during 2016. Of the 1,978 derelict sites recorded in the 2015 survey 1,569 (79%) were given a characteristic. In terms of land the response rate is 8,814 out of 10,279 hectares of derelict land (86%) classified by characteristic.
5.11 Table 7 also shows the variation in the characteristics of derelict land (for the 86% of land that has been classified by characteristic). 30% of this derelict land (2,613 hectares and 119 sites) is recorded as having a mixture of possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material. A further 26% of derelict land (2,299 hectares and 192 sites) is characterised by building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances. Whilst accounting for only 9% of characterised derelict land, it is worth noting that the most common derelict characteristic in terms of sites affected is the remains of buildings, with 628 sites recorded as having this as a single characteristic. It should be noted that there is potential for a lot of overlap in these categories, so the results should be treated with some caution.
Table 7: Derelict Land characteristics, 2016 1,2,3
|Derelict Characteristics||Derelict Land|
|Area (ha)||% of Derelict Land (by Area)||No. of Sites|
|Possible left over chemicals/substances||851||10||249|
|Abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc)||539||6||170|
|Building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances||2,299||26||192|
|Building remains and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc)||411||5||140|
|Possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material||2,613||30||119|
|Building remains, possible left over chemicals/substances and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc)||1,311||15||71|
|Percentage of categorised sites||100|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. Unknown values are excluded from the calculation of percentages.
3. 3,606 hectares of derelict land had previously been used for mineral activity with 63% of this area with derelict characteristics recorded as possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material.
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