Wed 3 Feb, 2016

The Scottish Greens today (3 Feb) welcomed the decision of Land Reform Minister Aileen McLeod to investigate the options for bringing Scotland's 11,000 hectares of vacant and derelict land into the valuation system.Andy Wightman_small

Analysis by the Scottish Greens suggests that taxing such land could raise around £300million a year for housebuilding.

At today's meeting of the Rural Affairs committee at Holyrood, Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie withdrew an amendment to the Land Reform Bill on derelict and vacant land in light of the minister's pledge to meet with Mr Harvie and Scottish Assessors to investigate the options for bringing such land into the valuation system.

Mr Harvie warned that he could still bring the amendment back at the final stage of the Bill.

The Scottish Greens, who have consistently called for bold action to make land ownership clearer and fairer, received over 1,400 signatures on an online petition - This Could Be Home - supporting the vacant land proposal.

Andy Wightman, Land Reform spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP candidate for Lothian, said:

"This is a small but welcome step forward in our campaign to get derelict and vacant land into the valuation system so we can raise funds for housebuilding and tackle eyesores in our communities. The progress made today shows how important it is to have Green voices at Holyrood pushing the Scottish Government to be bold.
 
"We know that there is a housing crisis in Scotland, and over half of our most deprived communities are within 500 metres of vacant and derelict land. Scottish Greens will continue to keep this important issue on the agenda."

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