Publication - Statistics

Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2018

Published: 24 Apr 2019

Data collection undertaken to establish the extent and state of vacant and derelict land in Scotland.

52 page PDF

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52 page PDF

1.4 MB

Contents
Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2018
7. Derelict Land: Levels, Location and Characteristics

52 page PDF

1.4 MB

7. Derelict Land: Levels, Location and Characteristics

7.1 This section focuses exclusively on derelict land - its levels over the past seven years and its location within Scotland. Derelict land is land which has been so damaged by development, that it is unsuitable for 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.

7.2 The total amount of derelict land has shown a net increase of 198 hectares (2%), from 8,846 hectares in 2012 to 9,044 hectares in 2018 (Table 6).

7.3 Excluding derelict mineral sites, the total amount of derelict land in Scotland has shown a net decrease of 14% (937 hectares) since 2012 (from 6,917 hectares in 2012 to 5,980 hectares in 2018).

7.4 The change in the recorded amount of derelict land from 2012 to 2018 varies by authority. Some councils have seen large percentage decreases - Renfrewshire showing the largest percentage decrease, down 80%. Others have seen large increases in levels of derelict land - East Ayrshire has more than six times the amount of derelict land in 2018 compared to 2012. This large increase is due to the addition of 2,217 hectares of former surface coal mines in 2014 (see Section 5).

7.5 The large percentage changes for some authorities, for example Na h-Eileanan Siar, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire and Moray, are due the small base of recorded land in 2012.

7.6 The five councils recording the largest amount of derelict land in 2018 are East Ayrshire (1,736 ha), Highland (1,276 ha), North Lanarkshire (1,189 ha), North Ayrshire (1,098 ha) and Fife (598 ha). Together these councils account for almost two thirds (65%) of all derelict land recorded in 2018.

7.7 The notable increase in derelict land in Angus from 2017 to 2018 was mainly due to remapping an area of disused railways using aerial photography which resulted in a change to the area recorded for a single site - increasing from 30 to 166 hectares.

7.8 The notable decrease in derelict land in East Ayrshire from 2017 to 2018 was mainly due to a number of former surface coal mine sites being classed as naturalised on completion of their restoration programme.

7.9 The largest derelict sites recorded in the 2018 survey include:

  • Fearn and Fendom Airfields and the Port of Arderseir in Highland (386, 295 and 255 hectares)
  • A former explosives factory in Ardeer, North Ayrshire (332 hectares)
  • A former opencast coal site in Muirkirk, East Ayrshire (246 hectares)

7.10 The largest site recorded as derelict for the first time during this survey was a housing site in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire (50 hectares).

Table 6 - Total Derelict Land by Planning Authority1,2,3

Local Authority Total Derelict land Area (ha) % Change 2012-20185
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Aberdeen City 27 28 25 21 16 13 13 -53%
Aberdeenshire 35 35 34 34 38 45 43 24%
Angus 124 124 126 112 100 94 229 84%
Argyll and Bute4 8 9 8 37 37 37 38 361%
Clackmannanshire 11 11 15 12 54 48 46 312%
Dumfries and Galloway 483 483 482 455 457 301 301 -38%
Dundee City 14 14 18 16 16 14 17 16%
East Ayrshire 277 285 2,493 2,480 2,386 2,324 1,736 527%
East Dunbartonshire 57 56 52 61 67 69 43 -25%
East Lothian 62 62 61 76 76 79 78 26%
East Renfrewshire 39 39 36 36 36 34 34 -14%
City of Edinburgh 114 112 111 96 96 91 88 -22%
Falkirk 79 89 101 108 163 210 208 162%
Fife 815 806 813 599 602 601 598 -27%
Glasgow City 657 644 638 641 640 621 580 -12%
Highland6 1,373 1,302 1,299 1,276 1,276 1,276 1,276 -7%
Inverclyde 24 26 26 28 82 81 83 249%
Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park4 15 25 25 25 25 25 6 -57%
Midlothian 254 253 204 188 181 107 107 -58%
Moray 3 9 9 8 7 7 7 164%
Na h-Eileanan Siar 1 1 1 1 1 1 * -89%
North Ayrshire 1,124 1,125 1,137 1,129 1,127 1,147 1,098 -2%
North Lanarkshire 1,156 1,145 1,139 1,116 1,083 1,138 1,189 3%
Orkney Islands 40 39 39 39 39 39 32 -21%
Perth and Kinross4 40 38 28 28 23 16 17 -58%
Renfrewshire 795 784 761 748 708 173 160 -80%
Scottish Borders 58 54 49 49 49 46 45 -22%
Shetland Islands 7 7 5 5 5 6 6 -2%
South Ayrshire 71 70 70 75 81 81 96 35%
South Lanarkshire 350 356 345 340 296 306 296 -16%
Stirling4 137 131 131 131 117 117 117 -15%
West Dunbartonshire4 172 168 168 167 157 149 152 -12%
West Lothian6 421 421 417 346 346 346 304 -28%
Scotland 8,846 8,756 10,864 10,481 10,385 9,640 9,044 2%

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.

7.11 Just over three quarters of all Scotland’s derelict sites are found within a settlement; the remaining quarter is within the countryside (Table 7). While the majority of derelict sites are located within settlements a larger area of derelict land is found outside of settlements with 5,775 hectares of derelict land, 64% of the total area, in the countryside.

7.12 North Lanarkshire has the largest number of settlement-based derelict sites with 317 recorded in 2018 and the largest amount of derelict land recorded within settlements in 2018 (805 hectares). This accounts for almost a quarter of all settlement-based derelict land.

7.13 North Lanarkshire also has the largest number of countryside-based derelict sites with 86 (385 hectares) recorded in 2018. However, the largest area of derelict land in the countryside is in East Ayrshire (1,680 hectares) which accounts for almost 30% of all countryside-based derelict land. This is due mainly to a small number of very large derelict former surface coal mines in East Ayrshire.

7.14 The average size of a derelict site in Scotland is 4.7 hectares. The average size of a countryside site is 12.9 hectares, with the average size of a settlement-based derelict site notably smaller at 2.2 hectares.

7.15 Across Scotland as a whole 0.1% of all land is derelict. Glasgow City has the largest amount of derelict land in relation to the size of its administrative area (Chart 1). The figures for all councils can be found in Annex Table 3.

Chart 1 - Planning Authorities with the largest area of Derelict Land as a percentage of Local Authority administrative area

Chart 1 - Planning Authorities with the largest area of Derelict Land as a percentage of Local Authority administrative area

Table 7 - Location and average size of Derelict Sites by Planning Authority1,2

Local Authority In a Settlement In the Countryside All Derelict Land
Area (ha) % of LA's derelict land in settlements (by Area) No of Sites Average Site Size % of Scottish derelict land in settlements (by Area)3 Area (ha) % of LA's derelict land in the Countryside (by Area) No of Sites Average Site Size % of Scottish derelict land in the Countryside (by Area)4 Area (ha) No of Sites Average Site Size
Aberdeen City 13 100 14 0.9 * - - - - - 13 14 0.9
Aberdeenshire 30 69 28 1.1 1 13 31 2 6.7 * 43 30 1.4
Angus 19 8 10 1.9 1 211 92 16 13.2 4 229 26 8.8
Argyll and Bute5 9 23 8 1.1 * 29 77 3 9.8 1 38 11 3.5
Clackmannanshire 10 22 10 1.0 * 36 78 3 11.9 1 46 13 3.5
Dumfries and Galloway 78 26 38 2.0 2 224 74 8 28.0 4 301 46 6.5
Dundee City 17 100 18 0.9 1 - - - - - 17 18 0.9
East Ayrshire 56 3 36 1.6 2 1,680 97 44 38.2 29 1,736 80 21.7
East Dunbartonshire 15 34 3 4.8 * 28 66 7 4.0 * 43 10 4.3
East Lothian 22 28 9 2.4 1 56 72 19 3.0 1 78 28 2.8
East Renfrewshire 32 95 22 1.5 1 2 5 1 1.7 * 34 23 1.5
City of Edinburgh 87 98 23 3.8 3 2 2 1 1.9 * 88 24 3.7
Falkirk 151 73 34 4.4 5 57 27 14 4.0 1 208 48 4.3
Fife 219 37 107 2.1 7 378 63 55 6.9 7 598 162 3.7
Glasgow City 544 94 271 2.0 17 36 6 5 7.2 1 580 276 2.1
Highland6 174 14 75 2.3 5 1,102 86 28 39.4 19 1,276 103 12.4
Inverclyde 83 100 51 1.6 3 - - - - - 83 51 1.6
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park5 3 43 6 0.5 * 4 57 1 3.6 * 6 7 0.9
Midlothian 29 27 13 2.2 1 78 73 21 3.7 1 107 34 3.1
Moray 7 100 8 0.9 * - - - - - 7 8 0.9
Na h-Eileanan Siar * 100 1 0.2 * - - - - - * 1 0.2
North Ayrshire 330 30 83 4.0 10 768 70 34 22.6 13 1,098 117 9.4
North Lanarkshire 805 68 317 2.5 25 385 32 86 4.5 7 1,189 403 3.0
Orkney Islands - - - - - 32 100 1 31.8 1 32 1 31.8
Perth and Kinross5 8 47 12 0.7 * 9 53 13 0.7 * 17 25 0.7
Renfrewshire 52 33 27 1.9 2 108 67 2 53.8 2 160 29 5.5
Scottish Borders 30 67 48 0.6 1 15 33 8 1.8 * 45 56 0.8
Shetland Islands 1 14 1 0.9 * 6 86 5 1.1 * 6 6 1.1
South Ayrshire 90 94 49 1.8 3 6 6 6 1.0 * 96 55 1.7
South Lanarkshire 134 45 85 1.6 4 161 55 26 6.2 3 296 111 2.7
Stirling5 5 4 3 1.7 * 112 96 9 12.4 2 117 12 9.7
West Dunbartonshire5 152 100 56 2.7 5 * * 1 0.2 * 152 57 2.7
West Lothian6 66 22 15 4.4 2 238 78 29 8.2 4 304 44 6.9
Scotland 3,269 36 1,481 2.2 100 5,775 64 448 12.9 100 9,044 1,929 4.7

1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

2. Settlements as defined by Local Authorities in their latest council approved local plans.

3. As a percentage of total derelict land within a settlement in Scotland.

4. As a percentage of total derelict land within the countryside in Scotland.

5. 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.

6. Highland has not updated their survey since 2015 so their 2018 figures have been carried over from 2015.

7.16 Where derelict characteristics are recorded the most common characteristic in terms of the number of sites is the remains of buildings (Table 8), with 663 sites listed with this as a single characteristic. However, this only accounts for 10% of the total area of characterised derelict land. The largest area of characterised derelict land is listed as having a mixture of possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material - 2,080 hectares (27% of total area) across 118 sites. A further 21% of the total area (1,579 hectares and 183 sites) is characterised by building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances. It should be noted that there is potential for overlap between these categories, so the results should be treated with some caution.

Table 8 - Derelict Land Characteristics1

Derelict Characteristics Derelict Land
Area (ha) % of Derelict Land with known characteristics (by Area)2 No. of Sites
Building remains 804 10 663
Possible left over chemicals/substances 911 12 245
Abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc) 542 7 168
Building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances 1,579 21 183
Building remains and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc) 450 6 148
Possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material 2,080 27 118
Building remains, possible left over chemicals/substances and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc) 1,321 17 73
Total Derelict Land with known characteristics 7,686 100 1,598
Unknown2 1,358 - 331
Total Derelict Land 9,044   1,929

1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

2. Unknown values are excluded from the calculation of percentages.


Contact

Email: Planning_Stats@gov.scot