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Enhanced compulsory purchase powers championed to break dereliction deadlock

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August 16 2018

Enhanced compulsory purchase powers championed to break dereliction deadlock

The Land Commission is calling on the Scottish Government to hand local authorities greater control of regeneration policy by championing a new Compulsory Sales Order (CSO) as a mechanism for forcing abandoned buildings and derelict land back into productive use.

Intended as a more flexible version of compulsory purchase orders, which require a specific plan for re-use to be put in place, the new instrument would be available to public authorities seeking to tackle problematic sites via a transfer of ownership.

The call to action is contained in a new report which cites enhanced powers for planning authorities as the most straightforward method for tackling the problem, with an estimated 11,600 hectares of land failing to reach its potential – equivalent to an area twice the size of Dundee.

This is compounded by a further 37,000 houses scattered throughout the country which have been classed as long-term empty homes by Shelter Scotland.

Professor David Adams commented: “Such sites often act as magnets for crime and anti-social behaviour.  This damages quality of life for existing residents and can act as a deterrent for inward investment, making it more difficult to bring about long-term regeneration and renewal.

“CSOs could be part of a tool kit to bring unused land – especially small parcels of land that have lain unused and unloved, in our city and town centres - back in to productive use.

“We envisage it being used as a power of last resort; councils and land owners should be working together to try and find solutions first.”

Fresh solutions are being investigated as a means to break a logjam which has seen precious little progress made, with derelict and vacant land totals remaining largely unchanged since the late 1990’s.

4 Comments

A Local Pleb
#1 Posted by A Local Pleb on 16 Aug 2018 at 13:03 PM
Lets hope this is effective and has the necessary clout and doesn't get suffocated by red tape and courtroom deliberations!
Dave the ****
#2 Posted by Dave the **** on 16 Aug 2018 at 13:14 PM
About time. It's always been curious to me that no matter who is in government, progress in this area is always painfully slow. Would like to see some LVT as well.
I wonder if this could finally break the Egyptian Halls deadlock.
Graeme McCormick
#3 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 16 Aug 2018 at 14:44 PM
Good idea as far as it goes but at the first Land Commission Annual Conference it was agreed in the hall that local authorities are the biggest impediment to development and blight. The public sector owns much more than the private sector in these blighted areas. An Annual Ground Rent charged on land and floorspace per square metre on all private and public property will force private and public property owners to steward their property or have to off-load it . Once introduced the value of these areas will collapse as assets become liabilites.
Lucid Dreams
#4 Posted by Lucid Dreams on 17 Aug 2018 at 10:56 AM
Overall a good idea, the above comment by GM is an even better idea as removes any stifling by red tape and turns the whole thing into a simple business decision. Namely use it, sell it or you will have to pay if you continue to hold land and property in dereliction thus preventing others from getting the use of it or adding value.

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