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Large increase in derelict mineral sites

Published: 24 May 2016 09:30
Part of:
Statistics

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

There has been a large upward revision to the total amount of derelict land reported for 2014 in Scotland, from 8,509 to 10,753 hectares, mainly due to the addition of 2,217 hectares of surface coal mining land that became derelict in East Ayrshire following the liquidation of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources in 2013.

The revised results show that the total amount of derelict land in Scotland increased by 2,108 hectares (24.4%) between 2013 and 2014, from 8,645 hectares to 10,753 hectares, with the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land increasing by 18.9% from 11,042 hectares to 13,132 hectares.

Since then the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land has decreased by 458 hectares or 3.5 per cent to 12,674 hectares in 2015. The decrease of 458 hectares is explained by 356 hectares that were brought back into use and 317 hectares that were naturalised or removed for definitional reasons, 217 hectares of which is accounted for by changes to the Westfield former opencast mining site near Kinglassie in Fife. This balances against 176 hectares of new derelict and vacant land reported by local authorities, along with a net increase of 39 hectares in the sizes of existing derelict and urban vacant land.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician has today released the latest annual statistics on the extent of vacant and derelict land in Scotland.

derelict land

Data from the 2015 Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey gives the following results:

Of the 12,674 hectares of derelict and urban vacant land recorded in the 2015 survey, 2,309 hectares (18%) were classified as urban vacant and 10,365 hectares (82%) were classified as derelict.

Since 2009, there has been an increase of 1,145 hectares (10 per cent) in the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land recorded in the survey, from 11,530 hectares in 2009 to 12,674 hectares in 2015. This increase is mainly due to the addition of 2,217 hectares of former surface coal mines that became derelict in East Ayrshire in 2014. Excluding derelict mineral sites there has been a decrease of 643 hectares (7%) in the total amount of derelict and urban vacant land since 2009.

The local authority with the highest amount of recorded derelict and urban vacant land is East Ayrshire, containing 2,536 hectares (20% of the Scotland total). Highland has the second highest amount with 1,342 hectares (11%), North Ayrshire is third with 1,333 hectares (11%), followed by North Lanarkshire with 1,266 hectares (10%).

29.7% of Scotland’s population are estimated to live within 500 metres of a derelict site in 2015, this compares with an estimate of 28.9% for the previous year.

58% of people living in the most deprived decile in Scotland are estimated to live within 500 metres of derelict land, compared to 11% of people in the least deprived decile.

For those sites where the previous use is known, 38% of derelict land recorded in 2015 had been previously used for mineral activity (3,768 hectares), 19% for defence (1,941 hectares), and a further 18% for manufacturing (1,835 hectares). The most common previous use for urban vacant land, where previous use is known, was agriculture (19%, or 382 hectares) and the second most common previous use was residential development (18%, or 355 hectares).
3,250 hectares (28%) of derelict and urban vacant land in 2015 was reported to be developable in the short term, with an expectation of development within five years. A total of 3,053 hectares (26%) of derelict and urban vacant land is seen by local authorities as being uneconomic to develop and/or is viewed as suitable to reclaim for a ‘soft’ end use (i.e. non-built use).

The most common new use for derelict land was residential, with 43% (88 hectares) of the derelict land that was brought back into use since the previous survey reclaimed for this purpose. The second most common new use was for mineral activity, accounting for 31% (63 hectares). For urban vacant land the most common new use was residential, with 45% (67 hectares) of the land reclaimed for this purpose.

Of the 176 hectares of new derelict and urban vacant land reported by local authorities, the most common previous land uses were manufacturing (61 hectares), community and health (24 hectares), education (18 hectares), utility services (16 hectares), mineral activity (14 hectares) and housing (10 hectares).

Of the 356 hectares of land reused in 2015, a total of 66 hectares involved some form of public funding, either a full or partial contribution.
Since its inception in 2005/06, the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund has contributed (either fully or partially) to the reuse of 332 hectares (in total) of previously vacant and derelict land across Dundee City, Glasgow City, Highland, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication is available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Planning/Publications, alongside Excel versions of tables and charts, a site-level dataset, and selected maps.

The publication contains a summary of results from the 2015 Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey along with commentary and tables on longer term trends.

The main purpose of the statistics is to provide a national data source to inform the programming of rehabilitation, planning and reuse of urban vacant and derelict sites. The statistics contribute to the Government's performance indicator for sustainable communities that measures progress on Housing and Regeneration outcomes. Further information on this can be found at:
http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Built-Environment/Housing/reform/HARO/Indicators

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About