8 Urban Vacant Land: Levels and Location
8.1 This section focuses exclusively on urban vacant land, its levels over the past seven years and its location within Scotland. Vacant land is land which is unused for the purposes for which it is held and is viewed as an appropriate site for development. The land must either have had prior development on it or had preparatory work taken place in anticipation of future development. Vacant land is described as urban when it is located within settlements of over 2,000 in population. Unlike derelict land, urban vacant land is generally not in need of rehabilitation before new development can commence.
Chart 5: Local Authorities with the largest amount of Urban
Vacant Land, 2016
8.2 Chart 5 shows the ten councils with the largest amounts of urban vacant land in 2016. There were 2,156 hectares of urban vacant land recorded in Scotland in 2016. Glasgow City has the most urban vacant land with 471 hectares, followed by North Ayrshire (207 hectares) and then Dundee City (188 hectares). In 2016, the largest areas of urban vacant land in Scotland were sites in Redburn, Irvine, North Ayrshire (22 hectares), Claverhouse Business Park, Dundee (22 hectares) and Orchardbank Business Park, Angus (21 hectares).
8.3 Table 11 shows the amount of urban vacant land in Scotland, split by local authority for the years 2010-2016. In 2010 there were 2,580 hectares of urban vacant land in Scotland. This figure has fallen to a low of 2,156 hectares in 2016. Between 2010 and 2016 there has been an overall 16% (424 hectares) reduction in the amount of urban vacant land in Scotland. A small number of councils did not participate in every survey between 2010 and 2016. In those cases, previous years' data is rolled forward until new data becomes available.
Table 11: Total Urban Vacant Land by local
authority area, 2010-2016
|Local Authority||Total Urban Vacant Land Area (ha)||% Change 2010-2016 5|
|Argyll & Bute 4||21||21||26||25||23||22||21||-3%|
|Dumfries & Galloway 6||13||12||8||8||8||6||6||-55%|
|East Lothian 6||9||9||8||10||10||9||9||-4%|
|Edinburgh, City of||96||97||97||100||97||88||77||-19%|
|Loch Lomond & the Trossachs 4||n/a||7||6||6||6||3||3||n/a|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||9||9||9||9||9||8||8||-11%|
|Perth & Kinross 4||11||9||9||8||21||20||18||75%|
|West Dunbartonshire 4||23||20||20||20||21||15||14||-38%|
|West Lothian 6||61||61||61||62||72||72||72||18%|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. See Annex Table E for details of council participation in different years.
3. During 2015, historical data for the years 2009-2014 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 2015 survey returns. Further information on this process is available in the Annex along with un-amended historical data for the survey years of 1996-2008.
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.
8.4 Changes in the relative amount of urban vacant land in Scotland show greater variation at council level. The largest absolute reduction was seen in Glasgow City, down by 166 hectares from 636 hectares in 2010 to 471 hectares in 2016. Some of the larger percentage changes for certain councils (for example Orkney Islands and Perth & Kinross) are due to there only being a small base of recorded land in 2010.
8.5 Looking at the 6 councils with the most urban vacant land in 2010, Chart 6 shows the change since 2010 in total levels of urban vacant land. Glasgow City has consistently had the highest amount of urban vacant land in Scotland for the period 2010-2016. Glasgow reported 636 hectares of urban vacant land in 2010, decreasing to 471 hectares (a net decrease of 26%) by 2016. The other three authorities recording percentage decreases are North Lanarkshire (51%), Renfrewshire (24%) and South Lanarkshire (6%). In contrast North Ayrshire has seen a 3% increase in the level of urban vacant land during the past 6 years and in Dundee City the amount of urban vacant land in 2016 is the same as in 2010 (188 hectares).
Chart 6: Total level of Urban Vacant Land in top 6 local
authorities (as at 2010), 2010-2016
Email: Planning Statistics
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House