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Derelict sites – the forgotten costs


By Alistair Whitfield


Castlehill Church in Forres, which has lain empty since 2005
Picture: Eric Cormack. Image No. 035075.
Castlehill Church in Forres, which has lain empty since 2005 Picture: Eric Cormack. Image No. 035075.

THE economy, social cohesion and even health of a community can be hit by having a derelict building in its midst.

That's according to a report published this week by the Scottish Land Commission.

The commission is now calling for a national framework to properly assess the impact of vacant and derelict land.

The organisation's head of policy and research Shona Glenn stated that living near a derelict site can leave a community feeling forgotten.

She said: "In aiming to reduce the number of such sites across Scotland it is essential that we understand what kind of sites cause the most harm to our communities.

"It is often the smaller derelict sites in urban areas that have the biggest impact on their wellbeing and safety.

"There is evidence that neglected sites can deter investment or mitigate the introduction of new income streams such as tourism. Local communities can feel forgotten."

The Scottish Land Commission states that a national framework to monitor sites would provide up-to-date information that could be used by community groups to build a case for intervention.

Its report also goes on to outline funding options for communities wanting to bring vacant or derelict land back into use

These include the Scottish Government, local authorities, National Lottery, trusts and charities and crowdfunding.

The full report can be downloaded here



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