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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


5. Former Surface Coal Mines

5.1 This section provides an overview of how former surface coal mines have been treated in the Survey results for the period 2014 to 2021.

5.2 A number of opencast coal mining sites were affected by the liquidation of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources in 2013 across sites in East Ayrshire, Fife and South Lanarkshire. Sites in East Ayrshire were affected by a shortfall in restoration bonds that meant the level of financial guarantees fell short of the amount of money required to return all the land to its original condition.

5.3 Analysis carried out by East Ayrshire Council throughout the course of 2015 identified a total of 2,217 hectares of former surface coal mines in East Ayrshire that were considered to be derelict, and these sites were included in the 2015 SVDLS publication for both the years 2014 and 2015 (2014 figures being revised from those previously published).

5.4 For each subsequent Survey East Ayrshire Council has reviewed the sites reducing site sizes to reflect any areas of naturalisation. A number of sites have been removed from the survey due to their restoration scheme being completed and have become naturalised. The total area of former surface coal mines now is listed at 598 hectares, a reduction of 1,619 hectares (73%) since the initial listing.

5.5 The East Ayrshire Council analysis is based on the following principles for recording former surface coal mines, which were agreed following discussions between Scottish Government representatives and East Ayrshire, Fife, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire Councils.

5.6 Large areas have been broken down into smaller areas to distinguish between parcels of land that still need to be restored to their original condition, parcels that are unworked and parcels derelict or naturalised.

5.7 Areas of abandoned sites where the only element of activity is the maintenance of the site for health and safety reasons have been considered derelict.

5.8 Areas which have been subject to partial restoration which are below the standard expected within the original planning permissions, but which are not considered to be of such poor quality as they would present a significant health and safety danger or environmental risk, are not considered derelict. Only areas of land identified as being unsafe or of very poor environmental quality and requiring further remediation have been recorded as derelict.

5.9 Any former compounds, coal wash areas or haul routes that are still being used for another operational site have not been considered derelict.

5.10 Table 1 shows East Ayrshire surface coal mines for each survey since 2015. In 2016 and 2017 the Dunstonhill site was broken into separate areas to distinguish between remaining areas of dereliction and other areas that, while in some instances were below the expected standard of restoration, were no longer of very poor environmental quality or comprise a significant health and safety or environmental risk.

Table 1 - Former Surface Coal Mines in East Ayrshire
Site Name 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Benbain Remainder 194 194 194 194 194 194 194
Benbain Remainder North 138 138 138 138 138 138 138
Chalmerston 41 41 41 41 41 41 41
Chalmerston Backfill 23 23 23 23 23 23 23
Chalmerston Compound 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Chalmerston Extraction 19 19 19 19 19 19 19
Chalmerston Overburden 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
Chalmerston Processing 11 11 11 11 11 11 11
Chalmerston North 110 110 110 110 110 110 110
Dalfad [Note 3] 164 164 164 164 164 164 -
Darnconner 44 44 44 44 44 44 44
Galawhilstle [Note 3] 507 507 507 - - - -
Garleffan 1 and 2 [Note 3] 135 135 135 135 135 135 -
Garleffan South [Note 3] 4 4 4 4 4 4 -
Grievehill [Note 3] 122 122 121 121 121 121 -
Piperhill [Note 3] 133 133 133 133 133 133 -
Powharnal [Note 3] 246 246 246 246 246 246 -
Skares Area D [Note 3] 57 57 57 57 57 57 -
Skares [Note 3] 31 31 31 31 31 31 -
Skares Earthworks [Note 3] 4 4 4 - - - -
Skares Extraction [Note 3] 4 4 4 4 4 4 -
Skares Muir Farm [Note 3] 4 4 4 4 4 4 -
Skares Processing [Note 3] 11 11 11 11 11 11 -
Dunstonhill Patna [Note1] [Note 2] [Note 3] 197 80 50 - - - -
Dunstonhill Burnfoothill [Note 3] - 21 - - - - -
Dunstonhill Lethan Hill [Note 3] - 3 - - - - -
Dunstonhill Forest Road [Note 3] - - 15 - - - -
Total 2,217 2,124 2,084 1,507 1,507 1,507 598

General notes - at sections 3 and 4 apply.

Specific note 1 - the initial Dunstonhill (Patna) site was split into separate sites in 2016 and further split in 2017.

Specific note 2 - site size was amended in 2017.

Specific note 3 - sites were removed from the survey on completion of restoration.

Contact

Email: planstats@gov.uk

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