A Glasgow City Council report outlined the continuing progress that is being made in the city in bringing vacant and derelict land back to productive use, with the equivalent of 90 full-sized football pitches coming back to use over one year in the latest (2018) figures. The council will spend a £3.5million Scottish Government funding allocation on tackling the issue in this financial year.
Between 2017 and 2018, Glasgow saw a reduction in vacant and derelict land of 64 hectares, a 6.4% fall from 1069 to 1005 hectares. There was also a reduction in the number of vacant and derelict sites, from 761 to 721. The reduction between 2016 and 2017 was 3.9% / 42 hectares.
Most of the land brought back to use was developed for residential purposes (66.4%), with other uses including transport, recreation and leisure.
Glasgow has consistently had the highest concentration of vacant and derelict land of any Scottish city, and it is recognised that this has arisen as a result of fragmented ownership, poor ground conditions, and inadequate infrastructure on many sites. These factors come together to act as a brake on the economic potential of Glasgow, and very often these sites are found in the areas affected most by multiple deprivation.
Of the remaining vacant and derelict land, most of this can be found in the north and east of the city, and 349 of the sites are owned by the council. Earlier this year, the council presented its draft Vacant and Derelict Land Assets Plan as it prepares to make use of these sites in the coming years.
The Scottish Government has allocated just over £3.5million to tackle long-term vacant and derelict land in Glasgow, and in doing so, stimulate economic growth and employment, develop a diverse and sustainable environment, and help communities flourish and reduce inequalities. This funding will go towards the potential treatment and/or investigation of over 37 hectares of vacant and derelict land.
The council’s focus in tackling this issue will include remediating former brownfield/industrial sites, assist the delivery of sites and infrastructure to support job creation, and put greenspace on sites where there is no potential for development in the short to medium term.
The funding allocation from the Scottish Government is proposed to be spend across the city at sites in the Broomielaw, Cadder, the canal corridor, Dalmarnock, Dawsholm, Govan, Laurieston, Shettleston and Toryglen.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “For far too long, the scale of vacant and derelict land in Glasgow has blighted communities and held back our economic growth. While we are now seeing the acceleration of a trend to bring back this land for a variety of uses that will benefit the city, much remains to be done, and we look forward to working with our partners in the public and private sectors to reclaim these sites and allow their development.”
The figures on vacant and derelict land in Glasgow come from the Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey (SVDLS).