10. Urban Vacant Land: Levels and Location
10.1 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.
10.2 There were 1,192 hectares of urban vacant land recorded in Scotland in 2018. Glasgow City had the most urban vacant land with 425 hectares, followed by North Ayrshire (181 hectares) and then Dundee City (167 hectares).
Chart 4 –Planning Authorities with the largest area of Urban Vacant Land
10.3 In 2018, the largest areas of urban vacant land in Scotland were sites in Orchardbank Business Park, Angus (28 hectares), a former hospital site in Montrose (25 hectares), a site in Redburn, Irvine, North Ayrshire (22 hectares) and Claverhouse Business Park, Dundee (21 hectares).
10.4 In 2012 there were 2,496 hectares of urban vacant land in Scotland. This figure has fallen to 1,992 hectares in 2018. Between 2012 and 2018 there has been an overall 20% (504 hectares) reduction in the amount of urban vacant land in Scotland.
10.5 Changes in the relative amount of urban vacant land in Scotland between 2012 and 2018 show variation at council level. The largest reduction in terms of area was in Glasgow City, down by 156 hectares from 581 hectares in 2012 to 425 hectares in 2018. 23 Planning Authorities recorded percentage decreases, the remaining ten showed an increase. Some of the larger percentage changes, for example Orkney Islands and Perth and Kinross, are due to a very small base of recorded land in 2012.
Table 12 - Total Urban Vacant Land by Planning Authority1,2,3
|Local Authority||Total Urban Vacant Land Area (ha)||% Change 2012-20185|
|Argyll and Bute4||26||25||23||22||21||20||20||-25%|
|Dumfries and Galloway||9||9||9||8||8||18||18||101%|
|City of Edinburgh||97||100||97||88||72||87||77||-21%|
|Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park4||5||5||5||2||2||2||1||-85%|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||9||9||9||8||8||8||8||-12%|
|Perth and Kinross4||9||16||29||28||26||26||25||166%|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. See Annex D for details of council participation in different years.
3. During 2018, historical data for the years 2012-2017 were updated as a result of improved information. This included removing sites that should not have been included in previous years, adding sites that should have been included earlier and making any required changes to site size. Further information on this process is available in the Annex along with un-amended historical data for the survey years of 1996-2011.
4. From 2011 Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park took responsibility for surveying vacant and derelict land within the park boundaries. These sites are no longer recorded in Argyll and Bute, Perth and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire local authority boundaries, and are separately identifiable as Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park 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. Highland has not updated their survey since 2015 so their 2018 figures have been carried over from 2015.
10.6 Glasgow City has consistently had the highest amount of urban vacant land in Scotland for the period 2012-2018. Eight authorities had more than 100 hectares of urban vacant land in 2012, five have recorded 100 hectares or more in 2018 (Chart 5).
Chart 5 – Change in area of Urban Vacant Land in authorities which had 100 hectares or more in 2012
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