Wed 24 Apr, 2019

Progress on reducing the amount of vacant and derelict land in Scotland is welcome, but more radical action is needed to stop the blight and create opportunities for local communities, according to Scottish Greens land reform spokesperson Andy Wightman MSP.

The total amount of derelict and urban vacant land in Scotland decreased by 716 hectares (6%) in the past year but there are still over 11,000 hectares – equivalent to around two-thirds of the land area of Glasgow – which could be put to better use.

Mr Wightman said the transformation of vacant and derelict sites could be sped up by making them consistently liable for non-domestic rates and adopting a standard rating methodology. This could provide an incentive to bring sites back into productive use faster as well as raising money to invest in local communities.

Andy Wightman MSP said:

“There is progress on reducing vacant and derelict land but it’s happening too slowly to stop the blight on many local communities that have lived with long-term dereliction. It’s also missing an opportunity to develop vibrant local economies.

“Bringing all of this land into the non-domestic rates regime could be a catalyst for creating vibrant and sustainable communities that people want to live in. We need more radical action and welcome the Scottish Land Commission’s call for the Scottish Government to legislate to make Scotland’s land more productive, efficient and equitable”.


Get involved

More like this

Andy Wightman wins new evictions crackdown

Thu 3 Dec, 2020

Private tenants in Scotland will get new protections from eviction over Christmas and New Year, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon agreed to ensure that no sheriff officer can evict someone from their home this winter.

The new regulations come after consistent pressure from Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman, who pushed for greater protections for tenants in the COVID emergency laws in May, and whose campaign for a winter eviction ban gathered over 1,000 signatures.

At last week’s FMQ, Mr Wightman raised the plight of a constituent in West Lothian who is facing eviction.

Local democracy boost as Scottish govt backs Wightman bill

Wed 2 Dec, 2020

Local democracy in Scotland is set to be strengthened after the Scottish Government indicated it would back a Scottish Greens bid to give local councils European-style protections from centralisation.

At the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government committee, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell signalled support for Andy Wightman’s European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, which would give councils democratic guarantees that are normal across Europe.

Soaring rents shows need for rent controls

Tue 24 Nov, 2020

Rising private rents across Scotland reveal the failure of the SNP’s flagship rent pressure zones policy and the need for proper rent controls, Scottish Greens housing spokesperson Andy Wightman has said.