The Scottish Land Commission are proposing new legal powers to tackle the blight of vacant and derelict land and buildings. The proposed Compulsory Sales Order (CSO) would provide planning authorities with a straightforward mechanism to bring sites and buildings that have been unoccupied and/or derelict for an undue period of time, back into productive use.

Data from the Scottish Government shows that there are around 11,600 hectares of vacant and/or derelict land in Scotland – an area almost twice the size of the City of Dundee – and nearly double the area of public parks in Scotland (6,288 hectares). This is an entrenched problem and the headline figures have not changed substantially since the late 1990s.

Speaking about the problem, Professor David Adams, one of the Scottish Land Commission’s five Commissioners said that vacant and derelict land and buildings present challenges for many communities across Scotland.  He said, “Such sites often act as magnets for crime and anti-social behaviour.  This damages quality of life for existing residents and can act as a deterrent for inward investment, making it more difficult to bring about long-term regeneration and renewal.”