Publication - Statistics

Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2019

Published: 28 Apr 2020

Data collection undertaken to establish the extent and state of vacant and derelict land in Scotland. The data is sourced from local authorities and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority.

52 page PDF

2.2 MB

52 page PDF

2.2 MB

Contents
Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2019
7. Derelict Land: Levels, Location and Characteristics

52 page PDF

2.2 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 99 hectares (1%), from 8,767 hectares in 2013 to 8,866 hectares in 2019 (Table 6). This increase has been notably influenced by the addition of over 2,200 hectares of former surface coal mines in 2014.

7.3 Excluding derelict mineral sites, the total amount of derelict land in Scotland has shown a net decrease of 15% (1,016 hectares) since 2013 (from 6,832 hectares in 2013 to 5,816 hectares in 2019).

7.4 The change in the recorded amount of derelict land from 2013 to 2019 varies by authority. Some councils have seen large decreases - Renfrewshire had a percentage decrease of 81%. Others have seen large increases in levels of derelict land - East Ayrshire has more than five times the amount of derelict land in 2019 compared to 2013. 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 2013.

7.6 The five councils recording the largest amount of derelict land in 2019 are East Ayrshire (1,736 ha), Highland (1,276 ha), North Lanarkshire (1,218 ha), North Ayrshire (1,011 ha) and Fife (600 ha). Together these councils account for two thirds (66%) of all derelict land recorded in 2019.

7.7 The largest derelict sites recorded in the 2019 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)

7.8 The largest site recorded as derelict for the first time during this survey was at Turnberry Airfield in South Ayrshire (13 hectares).

Table 6 - Total Derelict Land by Planning Authority 1,2,3
Local Authority Total Derelict land Area (ha) % Change 2013-20195
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Aberdeen City 29 25 21 16 13 13 13 -56%
Aberdeenshire 35 34 34 38 45 43 42 22%
Angus 124 126 112 100 94 229 223 79%
Argyll and Bute4 9 8 37 37 37 38 38 345%
Clackmannanshire 11 15 12 54 48 46 41 260%
Dumfries and Galloway 483 482 455 457 301 301 294 -39%
Dundee City 14 18 16 16 14 17 14 -5%
East Ayrshire 285 2,493 2,480 2,386 2,324 1,736 1,736 510%
East Dunbartonshire 56 52 61 67 69 43 43 -24%
East Lothian 62 61 76 76 79 78 79 27%
East Renfrewshire 39 36 36 36 34 34 34 -13%
City of Edinburgh 112 111 96 96 91 88 87 -22%
Falkirk 89 101 108 163 210 208 194 119%
Fife 820 826 612 615 614 611 600 -27%
Glasgow City 644 638 641 640 621 580 530 -18%
Highland6 1,302 1,299 1,276 1,276 1,276 1,276 1,276 -2%
Inverclyde 26 26 28 82 81 83 59 125%
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park4 25 25 25 25 25 6 6 -75%
Midlothian 254 205 189 182 108 108 100 -61%
Moray 9 9 8 7 7 7 7 -21%
Na h-Eileanan Siar 1 1 1 1 1 * * -89%
North Ayrshire 1,125 1,137 1,129 1,127 1,147 1,098 1,011 -10%
North Lanarkshire 1,148 1,142 1,120 1,086 1,141 1,204 1,218 6%
Orkney Islands 39 39 39 39 39 32 32 -19%
Perth and Kinross4 41 31 32 27 21 22 24 -41%
Renfrewshire 784 761 748 708 173 160 149 -81%
Scottish Borders 54 49 49 49 46 45 46 -15%
Shetland Islands 7 5 5 5 6 6 6 -2%
South Ayrshire 70 70 75 81 81 96 110 56%
South Lanarkshire 356 345 340 296 306 296 291 -18%
Stirling4 123 123 122 108 108 108 110 -11%
West Dunbartonshire4 168 168 167 157 149 152 148 -12%
West Lothian6 421 417 346 346 346 304 304 -28%
Scotland 8,767 10,877 10,496 10,399 9,654 9,070 8,866 1%

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 2013-2018 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 last updated their survey in 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.

7.9 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 5,686 hectares of derelict land, 64% of the total area, in the countryside.

7.10 North Lanarkshire has the largest number of settlement-based derelict sites with 313 recorded in 2019 and the largest amount of derelict land recorded within settlements in 2019 (830 hectares). This accounts for just over a quarter of all settlement-based derelict land.

7.11 North Lanarkshire also has the largest number of countryside-based derelict sites with 87 (388 hectares) recorded in 2019. However, the largest area of derelict land in the countryside is in East Ayrshire (1,680 hectares) which accounts for 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.

7.12 The average size of a derelict site in Scotland is 4.7 hectares. The average size of a countryside site is 12.7 hectares, with the average size of a settlement-based derelict site notably smaller at 2.2 hectares.

7.13 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

Land areas were derived from the latest local authority boundaries produced by Ordnance Survey.

© Crown copyright and database right (2020). Ordnance Survey (OS Licence number 100024655).

Table 7 - Location and average size of Derelict Sites by Planning Authority 1,2
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 15 1 * - - - - - 13 15 1
Aberdeenshire 29 68 27 1 1 13 32 2 7 * 42 29 1
Angus 16 7 9 2 1 206 93 11 19 4 223 20 11
Argyll and Bute5 9 23 8 1 * 29 77 3 10 1 38 11 3
Clackmannanshire 5 13 9 1 * 36 87 3 12 1 41 12 3
Dumfries and Galloway 73 25 36 2 2 221 75 8 28 4 294 44 7
Dundee City 14 100 17 1 * - - - - - 14 17 1
East Ayrshire 56 3 35 2 2 1,680 97 44 38 30 1,736 79 22
East Dunbartonshire 15 34 3 5 * 28 66 7 4 * 43 10 4
East Lothian 22 29 11 2 1 56 71 19 3 1 79 30 3
East Renfrewshire 32 95 21 2 1 2 5 1 2 * 34 22 2
City of Edinburgh 86 98 22 4 3 2 2 1 2 * 87 23 4
Falkirk 148 76 33 4 5 46 24 13 4 1 194 46 4
Fife 211 35 106 2 7 389 65 54 7 7 600 160 4
Glasgow City 494 93 237 2 16 36 7 5 7 1 530 242 2
Highland6 174 14 75 2 5 1,102 86 28 39 19 1,276 103 12
Inverclyde 59 100 46 1 2 - - - - - 59 46 1
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park5 3 43 6 * * 4 57 1 4 * 6 7 1
Midlothian 28 29 15 2 1 71 71 21 3 1 100 36 3
Moray 7 100 7 1 * - - - - - 7 7 1
Na h-Eileanan Siar * 100 1 * * - - - - - * 1 *
North Ayrshire 318 31 80 4 10 693 69 29 24 12 1,011 109 9
North Lanarkshire 830 68 313 3 26 388 32 87 4 7 1,218 400 3
Orkney Islands - - - - - 32 100 1 32 1 32 1 32
Perth and Kinross5 11 44 17 1 * 14 56 28 * * 24 45 1
Renfrewshire 43 29 23 2 1 106 71 2 53 2 149 25 6
Scottish Borders 31 69 50 1 1 14 31 8 2 * 46 58 1
Shetland Islands 1 14 1 1 * 6 86 5 1 * 6 6 1
South Ayrshire 90 82 54 2 3 19 18 7 3 * 110 61 2
South Lanarkshire 140 48 85 2 4 151 52 23 7 3 291 108 3
Stirling5 7 6 6 1 * 103 94 8 13 2 110 14 8
West Dunbartonshire5 148 100 55 3 5 * * 1 * * 148 56 3
West Lothian6 67 22 15 4 2 237 78 28 8 4 304 43 7
Scotland 3,179 36 1,438 2 100 5,686 64 448 13 100 8,866 1,886 5

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. Prior to 2011 these sites were classified within the relevant local authority boundary.

6. Highland has not updated their survey since 2015 so their 2019 figures have been carried over from 2015.

7.14 Where derelict characteristics are recorded the most common characteristic in terms of the number of sites is the remains of buildings, with 656 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 - 2,059 hectares (27% of total area) across 117 sites. A further 21% of the total area (1,582 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 Characteristics 1
Derelict Characteristics Area (ha) % of Derelict Land with known characteristics (by Area)2 No. of Sites
Building remains 777 10 656
Possible left over chemicals/substances 878 12 227
Abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc) 513 7 161
Building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances 1,582 21 183
Building remains and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc) 440 6 140
Possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material 2,059 27 117
Building remains, possible left over chemicals/substances and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc) 1,345 18 75
Total Derelict Land with known characteristics 7,593 100 1,559
Unknown2 1,273 327
Total Derelict Land 8,866 1,886

1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.

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


Contact

Email: planstats@gov.scot