HARPER PRESSES SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT OVER REPORT INTO DERELICT AND VACANT LAND

South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper has continued to press for action over a number of derelict buildings across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders by asking the Scottish Government about a report which was carried out by the Scottish Land Commission in October 2020.

The South Scotland MSP has recently called for action over derelict buildings across her region, citing examples such as the Interfloor Factory in Dumfries, George Hotel in Stranraer, Central Hotel in Annan, Mercury Hotel in Moffat and the N Peal Factory in Hawick, to name a few. Ms Harper has now raised a written question with the Scottish Government which asks which of the recommendations from the October 2020 Scottish Land Commission Report into Derelict and vacant land in Scotland it intends to implement, and what its timescales for implementation are.

Scotland has almost 11,000 hectares of vacant and derelict urban land. This legacy of Scotland’s industrial past means that almost a third of the Scottish population lives within 500 metres of a derelict site. These sites blight communities, harm wellbeing, and limit opportunities – but they could be so much more, they could help solve some of society’s biggest challenges. The Scottish Land Commission Report makes several recommendations for changes to Scots law to help better address derelict land and abandoned buildings, which Ms Harper believes should now be implemented.

Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“Since my re-election to the Scottish parliament, I have been actively pursuing how to address derelict buildings and vacant land across communities in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders through engaging with community councils, constituents and the local authorities and Scottish Government. Across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders alone, we have many derelict buildings – like the Dumfries Interfloor Factory, Stranraer’s George Hotel, Annan’s Central Hotel, Moffat’s Mercury Hotel and Hawick’s N Peal building – which blight our communities and which need to be dealt with.

“In October 2020, the Scottish Land Commission produced a welcome report into derelict and vacant in Scotland which made several recommendations to the Scottish Government on legislative and policy changes to help better address derelict and vacant land, such as the examples we see across South Scotland. I have therefore raised a question of the Scottish Government to ask which of the recommendations from the October 2020 Scottish Land Commission Report into Derelict and vacant land in Scotland it intends to implement, and what it’s timescales for implementation are.

“Addressing the derelict buildings and vacant land across our region is hugely important in regenerating and improving our communities and I will continue to press for timely change, so that we can see positive change and a new lease of life for many of these once busy buildings and land. I will, of course, keep all updated on my response from the Scottish Government.”