Central Scotland Green Network

Land Reuse Month places focus on vacant & derelict land in March

Land Reuse Month, hosted by the Scottish Land Commission, will support local authorities in addressing the ‘how to’ of tackling the legacy of derelict land and preventing further sites and buildings from falling into long-term disrepair.

Scotland has almost 11,000 hectares of vacant and derelict urban land – an area roughly twice the size of the city of Dundee – and almost one-third of its 5.4 million population lives within 500 metres of a derelict site. These disused sites can cause significant harm to communities, ranging from negative impacts on mental and physical health to anti-social behaviour and safety concerns.

However these sites also present opportunities as we address recovery, renewal and a just transition to net zero. In fact, the current draft of the new National Planning Framework (NPF4) references the opportunity presented by vacant and derelict land throughout. It is a strategic priority for the Central Scotland Green Network and a core component of our workstream towards Green Recovery. The impacts of climate change are ever more apparent, and unused VDL is a luxury we cannot afford when many sites offer opportunities for green infrastructure, in the form of nature-based solutions like rain gardens, local food growing, pollinator habitats, natural play space and woodland.

Online seminars 3rd-24th March 2022

Local authority and other public sector employees are invited to take part in four online seminars attended by Scottish Government Ministers, civil servants, environmental groups, community ownership specialists, land and planning experts, housing advisors and academics.

The sessions will be held virtually on the first four Thursdays in March and will encourage delegates to understand the opportunities in transforming derelict land, to collaborate with communities and other cross-sector organisations involved, develop relevant strategies, and how to help stem the flow of abandoned and derelict land.

The first session on Thurs 3 March will be hosted by Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Andrew Thin, with an address by Minister for Environment and Land Reform Màiri McAllan, while Tom Arthur, the Minister for Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, will open and chair the fourth seminar focusing on the role of land in delivering national and local ambitions – including community wealth building – on 24 March.

Register here for the seminars

Land Reuse Month will provide valuable support to local authorities to unlock the potential in areas of unused land, and I greatly encourage all those with an interest to sign up to the online seminars.

The Scottish Government is determined to transform vacant and derelict land across the country to create new green infrastructure and provide environmental, social and economic opportunities for local communities.

Through our £50 million low carbon Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme, launched last year, we are already breathing new life into some of Scotland’s most long standing derelict sites.

The programme is now underway and will help the delivery of regeneration and inclusive growth, and the promotion of wellbeing and community resilience.

Màiri McAllan
Minister for Environment and Land Reform