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 2,060 hectares of urban vacant land recorded in Scotland in 2019. Glasgow City had the most urban vacant land with 424 hectares, followed by Dundee City (177 hectares) and North Ayrshire (176 hectares).
10.3 In 2019, the largest areas of urban vacant land in Scotland were Montrose Airfield, Angus (52 hectares), a site in Redburn, Irvine, North Ayrshire (22 hectares) and Claverhouse Business Park, Dundee (21 hectares).
10.4 In 2013 there were 2,456 hectares of urban vacant land in Scotland. This figure has fallen to 2,060 hectares in 2019. Between 2013 and 2019 there has been an overall 16% (396 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 2013 and 2019 show variation at council level. The largest reduction in terms of area was in Glasgow City, down by 128 hectares from 552 hectares in 2013 to 424 hectares in 2019. 27 Planning Authorities recorded percentage decreases since 2013, the remaining six 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 2013.
|Local Authority||Total Urban Vacant Land Area (ha)7||% Change 2013-20195|
|Argyll and Bute4||25||23||22||21||20||20||18||-28%|
|Dumfries and Galloway||9||9||8||8||18||18||28||211%|
|City of Edinburgh||100||97||88||72||87||77||64||-36%|
|Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park4||5||5||2||2||2||1||1||-85%|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||9||9||8||8||8||8||8||-12%|
|Perth and Kinross4||16||41||40||38||38||37||36||130%|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. See Annex D for details of council participation in different years.
3. During 2019, historical data for the years 2013-2019 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 2000-2012.
4. From 2011 Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park took responsibility for surveying vacant and derelict land within the park boundaries. 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 2019 figures have been carried over from 2015.
7 Figures do not include urban vacant sites in settlements with a population of less than 2,000. These are reported separately in the Annex.
10.6 Glasgow City has consistently had the highest amount of urban vacant land in Scotland for the period 2013-2019. Nine authorities had 100 hectares or more of urban vacant land in 2013, five have recorded 100 hectares or more in 2019.