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Scottish Vacant And Derelict Land Survey 2021

The Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey (SVDLS) is a data collection undertaken to establish the extent and state of vacant and derelict land in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection


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. Particular care should be taken when interpreting the data for 2020 as eight authorities were unable to complete a survey return mainly due to COVID-19 Pandemic related restrictions and results have been rolled over from 2019. This will affect the figures for each of these authorities, the Scotland total and any comparison with other years. More detailed information on this is presented in section 4 of the publication and in the notes accompanying tables, chart and annexes.

10.2 There were 1,898 hectares of urban vacant land recorded in Scotland in 2021. Glasgow City had the most urban vacant land with 364 hectares, followed by Dundee City (177 hectares) and North Ayrshire (168 hectares).

Chart 3 – Planning Authorities with the largest area of Urban Vacant Land, 2021 [Note 20] [Note 24]
A bar chart showing the top five planning authorities with the largest area of urban vacant land. In order, largest first, they are Glasgow City, Dundee City, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Fife.

General notes - at sections 3 and 4 apply.

Specific note 20 - Glasgow conducted a partial survey in 2021 and some sites were recorded as re-used but no new sites were added due to difficulty with resource for the survey. Dundee City and West Lothian have not updated their survey since 2019 so no new data is available on new site in 2021. Details of survey return rates back to 2015 are shown at Annex D. Specific note 24 - some authorities reported various impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on their survey return in 2021. More details are provided at sections 3 and 4. These impacts should be borne in mind when using and interpreting the figures for these authorities in the year 2021, when comparing the 2021 figure to other years and when interpreting the Scotland total for 2021.

10.3 In 2021, the largest areas of urban vacant land in Scotland were Montrose Airfield, Angus (52 hectares), a site in Spango Valley, Greenock (23 hectares) and a site in Redburn, Irvine, North Ayrshire (22 hectares).

10.4 There has been a gradual decrease in the area of urban vacant land in Scotland over the period 2015 to 2021. The figure has fallen 21 percent from 2,393 hectares in 2015 to 1,898 hectares in 2021.

10.5 Changes in the relative amount of urban vacant land in Scotland between 2015 and 2021 show variation at council level. The largest reduction in terms of area was in Glasgow City, down by 143 hectares from 508 hectares in 2015 to 364 hectares in 2021. 26 planning authorities recorded percentage decreases since 2015, the remaining seven showed an increase.

Table 12 - Total Urban Vacant Land by Planning Authority, 2015-2021 [Note 4] [Note 5] [Note 23] [Note 24]
Planning Authority Urban Vacant Land Area Percentage Change 2015-2021
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Aberdeen City 17 22 24 31 42 42 81 384%
Aberdeenshire 37 41 35 35 34 33 32 -13%
Angus 53 42 50 52 98 95 95 81%
Argyll and Bute 22 21 20 20 18 15 13 -42%
Clackmannanshire 20 19 17 11 11 9 9 -55%
Dumfries and Galloway 8 8 18 18 28 26 25 232%
Dundee City 199 188 168 167 177 177 177 -11%
East Ayrshire 64 73 80 77 68 68 44 -31%
East Dunbartonshire 10 10 7 26 25 19 34 252%
East Lothian 15 19 14 10 10 9 9 -35%
East Renfrewshire 19 19 17 18 16 16 16 -17%
City of Edinburgh 88 72 87 77 64 57 51 -42%
Falkirk 91 83 75 69 64 70 67 -26%
Fife 132 126 129 129 120 120 116 -12%
Glasgow City 508 474 452 428 427 399 364 -28%
Highland 66 66 66 66 66 66 36 -45%
Inverclyde 136 78 75 73 93 101 98 -27%
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 -65%
Midlothian 14 12 14 15 23 21 16 19%
Moray 7 7 8 8 8 8 7 10%
Na h-Eileanan Siar 8 8 8 8 8 8 6 -31%
North Ayrshire 218 215 199 181 176 169 168 -23%
North Lanarkshire 159 157 157 157 169 159 151 -5%
Orkney Islands - - - - - - 0 -
Perth and Kinross 40 38 38 37 36 29 26 -35%
Renfrewshire 165 152 99 95 82 85 77 -53%
Scottish Borders 22 22 20 18 17 14 14 -39%
Shetland Islands 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 -52%
South Ayrshire 32 25 24 23 18 18 13 -59%
South Lanarkshire 122 116 116 94 86 85 82 -33%
Stirling 32 35 32 28 26 14 14 -57%
West Dunbartonshire 15 14 16 16 15 15 16 4%
West Lothian 74 74 74 37 39 39 39 -48%
Scotland 2,393 2,240 2,143 2,025 2,066 1,988 1,898 -21%

General notes - at sections 3 and 4 apply.

Specific note 4 - during 2021, historical data for the years 2015-2020 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 2000-2014.

Specific note 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.

Specific note 23 - For the 2020 survey eight authorities (Aberdeen City, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, Highland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Ornkey Islands, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian) were unable to complete a survey mainly due to COVID-19 Pandemic related restrictions but also staffing issues and results have been rolled over from 2019. These return rates should be borne in mind when using and interpreting the figures for these authorities in the year 2020, when interpreting the Scotland total in 2020 and when comparing the 2020 figures to other years.

Specific note 24 - six authorities reported various impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on their survey return in 2021. More details are provided at sections 3 and 4. These impacts should be borne in mind when using and interpreting the figures for these authorities in the year 2021, when comparing the 2021 figure to other years and when interpreting the Scotland total for 2021.

10.6 Glasgow City has consistently had the highest amount of urban vacant land in Scotland for the period 2015-2021. Eight authorities had 100 hectares or more of urban vacant land in 2015, five have 100 hectares or more in 2021.

Contact

Email: planstats@gov.uk

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