5 Derelict Land: Levels and Location
5.1 This section focuses exclusively on derelict land, its levels over the past 7 years and its location within Scotland. As previously stated, derelict land is land which has been so damaged by development, that it is incapable of 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.
5.2 Table 5 shows the area of recorded derelict land in the years 2009-2015, split by local authority. It should be noted that a small number of councils did not participate in every survey between 2009 and 2015.
5.3 Overall, the total amount of derelict land has shown a net increase of 1,424 hectares (16%), from 8,941 hectares in 2009 to 10,365 hectares by 2015. Some councils have seen large percentage decreases (Dundee City, down 61% and West Lothian and Perth & Kinross, both down 38%) whereas others have seen increases in levels of derelict land. East Ayrshire has almost nine times the amount of derelict land in 2015 compared to 2009. This large increase is due to the addition of 2,217 hectares of land that became derelict due to the liquidation of Scottish Coal and ATH Resources in 2013 causing several surface coal mines to fall out of use. Some of the larger percentage changes for other councils (for example Argyll & Bute, Moray and Shetland Islands) are due to there only being a small base of recorded land in 2009. Excluding derelict mineral sites, the total amount of derelict land in Scotland has shown a net decrease of 5% (364 hectares) since 2009 (from 6,960 hectares in 2009 to 6,597 hectares in 2015).
5.4 The six councils recording the largest amount of derelict land are East Ayrshire (2,481 ha), Highland (1,276 ha), North Ayrshire (1,125 ha), North Lanarkshire (1,109 ha), Renfrewshire (748 ha), and Glasgow City (641 ha). Together these councils account for more than 70% of all derelict land recorded in 2015. East Ayrshire on its own accounts for nearly a quarter of all derelict land recorded in 2015.
5.5 Out of these 6 councils East Ayrshire had the biggest increase in its amount of derelict land from 279 hectares in 2009 to 2,481 hectares (almost nine fold increase). North Ayrshire increased only slightly from 1,114 hectares in 2009 to 1,125 hectares in 2015 (up 1%). Glasgow City had the largest decrease in its amount of derelict land from 719 to 641 hectares (down 11%), North Lanarkshire from 1,146 hectares to 1,109 hectares (down 3%), Highland from 1,303 hectares to 1,276 hectares (down 2%) and Renfrewshire decreased from 767 hectares to 748 hectares (down 3%).
Table 5: Total Derelict Land by local authority area, 2009-2015 1,2,3
|Local Authority||Total Derelict land Area (ha)||% Change 2009-2015 5|
|Argyll & Bute 4||6||9||8||8||9||8||37||513%|
|Dumfries & Galloway||452||448||448||455||455||454||427||-6%|
|Edinburgh, City of||130||121||125||112||111||110||95||-27%|
|Loch Lomond & the Trossachs 4||n/a||n/a||28||26||26||25||25||n/a|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||0%|
|Perth & Kinross 4||40||38||40||39||37||25||25||-38%|
|West Dunbartonshire 4||197||189||174||172||168||168||167||-15%|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. See Annex Table E for details of council participation in different years.
3. During 2015, historical data for the years 2009-2014 were revised to remove sites that had been taken out of the survey for definitional reasons and to correct any revisions to the data highlighted in the 2015 survey returns. Further information on this process is available in the Annex along with un-amended historical data for the survey years of 1996-2008.
4. From 2011 LLTNP took responsibility for surveying vacant and derelict land within the park boundaries. These sites are no longer recorded in Argyll & Bute, Perth & Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire local authority boundaries, and are separately identifiable as LLTNP from 2011. 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.
5.6 Table 6 shows the number, location and average size of derelict sites by local authority in 2015. The average size of a derelict site in Scotland is 5.3 hectares. Just over three quarters of all Scotland's derelict sites are found within a settlement. The remaining quarter are within the countryside. Whilst a clear majority of derelict sites are located within settlements, there is actually more derelict land outside of settlements (in the countryside) than within. This is because the average size of a countryside site is 14.7 hectares, whereas the average size of a settlement-based derelict site is only 2.2 hectares. Averages have been calculated from the sizes of each reported separate parcel of land rather than the combined size within any one particular site such as those for former surface coal mines. 7,112 hectares of derelict land is currently located within the countryside. This is 69% of the total derelict land in Scotland, whereas the remaining 31% (3,253 hectares) is located within a settlement. It is notable that the 666 hectare former Royal Ordnance site in Renfrewshire and the 507 hectare former surface coal mine near Glenbuck, East Ayrshire between them increase the average size of countryside sites from 12.3 to 14.7 hectares, an increase of 19%.
5.7 North Lanarkshire has the largest number of settlement-based derelict sites with 305 recorded in 2015. North Lanarkshire also has the largest amount of derelict land recorded within settlements in 2015 (798 hectares). This accounts for a quarter of all settlement-based derelict land.
5.8 North Lanarkshire also has the largest number of countryside-based derelict sites with 89 (312 hectares) recorded in 2015. East Ayrshire and Highland collectively account for almost half of all countryside-based derelict land. This is due mainly to the presence of some very large derelict sites, namely the former surface coal mines (collectively 2,217 hectares) in East Ayrshire and the Fearn/Fendom Airfields (collectively 681 hectares) as well as Ardersier Port (255 hectares) in Highland.
Table 6: Location of Derelict Sites by local authority and average site size, 2015 1,2
|Local Authority||In a Settlement||In the Countryside||All Derelict Land|
|Area (ha)||% of LA's sites in settlements (by Area)||No of Sites||Average Site Size||% of Scottish sites in settlements (by Area) 3||Area (ha)||% of LA's sites in the Countryside (by Area)||No of Sites||Average Site Size||% of Scottish sites in the Countryside (by Area) 4||Area (ha)||No of Sites||Average Site Size|
|Argyll & Bute 5||8||21||8||1.0||*||29||79||3||9.8||*||37||11||3.4|
|Dumfries & Galloway||30||7||22||1.3||1||397||93||11||36.1||6||427||33||12.9|
|Edinburgh, City of||93||98||33||2.8||3||2||2||1||1.8||*||95||34||2.8|
|Loch Lomond & the Trossachs 5||25||100||10||2.5||1||-||-||-||-||-||25||10||2.5|
|Na h-Eileanan Siar||1||100||4||0.3||*||-||-||-||-||-||1||4||0.3|
|Perth & Kinross 5||19||76||24||0.8||1||6||24||4||1.5||*||25||28||0.9|
|West Dunbartonshire 5||167||100||64||2.6||5||-||-||-||-||-||167||64||2.6|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. Settlements as defined by Local Authorities in their latest council approved local plans (see Annex Section A.6).
3. As a percentage of the total amount of derelict land that is within a settlement in Scotland.
4. As a percentage of the total amount of derelict land that is within the countryside in Scotland.
5. From 2011 LLTNP took responsibility for surveying vacant and derelict land within the park boundaries. These sites are no longer recorded in Argyll & Bute, Perth & Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire local authority boundaries, and are separately identifiable as LLTNP from 2011. Prior to 2011, these sites were classified within the relevant local authority boundary.
5.9 Chart 2 shows the ten councils with the largest amount of derelict land in relation to the size of their administrative area. The figures for all councils can be found in Table C in the annex. Approximately 3.7% of Glasgow City's total land area is derelict. The comparative figures for the next highest councils are 2.9% in Renfrewshire, 2.4% in North Lanarkshire, 2.0% in East Ayrshire, 1.3% in North Ayrshire and 1.1% in West Dunbartonshire. Across Scotland as a whole 0.1% of all land is derelict.
Chart 2: Local Authorities with the largest amount of Derelict Land as a percentage of local authority administrative area, 2015
5.10 Table 7 shows the characteristics of derelict land in Scotland during 2015. Of the 1,965 derelict sites recorded in the 2015 survey 1,560 (79%) were given a characteristic. In terms of land the response rate is 8,919 out of 10,365 hectares of derelict land (86%) classified by characteristic.
5.11 Table 7 also shows the variation in the characteristics of derelict land (for the 86% of land that has been classified by characteristic). 30% of this derelict land (2,717 hectares and 121 sites) is recorded as having a mixture of possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material. A further 26% of derelict land (2,316 hectares and 193 sites) is characterised by building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances. Whilst accounting for only 8% of characterised derelict land, it is worth noting that the most common derelict characteristic in terms of sites affected is the remains of buildings, with 599 sites recorded as having this as a single characteristic. It should be noted that there is potential for a lot of overlap in these categories, so the results should be treated with some caution.
Table 7: Derelict Land characteristics, 2015 1,2
|Derelict Characteristics||Derelict Land|
|Area (ha)||% of Derelict Land (by Area)||No. of Sites|
|Possible left over chemicals/substances||859||10||257|
|Abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc)||553||6||182|
|Building remains and possible left over chemicals/substances||2,316||26||193|
|Building remains and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc)||441||5||143|
|Possible left over chemicals/substances and rubble, stone deposits and other material||2,717||30||121|
|Building remains, possible left over chemicals/substances and abandoned physical material (stone deposits, rubble etc)||1,285||14||65|
|Percentage of categorised sites||100|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. Unknown values are excluded from the calculation of percentages