“This is good news for local councils and communities,” said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest), commenting on the move by Planning Minister Kevin Stewart to empower councils to use Compulsory Purchase Orders to force the sale at auction of eyesore derelict sites and vacant land.
This move would enable councils to target empty homes, abandoned shops, derelict hotels and gap sites if they are seen to be causing harm to local communities, such as by becoming a focus of anti-social behaviour. Mr Stewart confirmed that the orders will be introduced by 2021 after proposals are drawn up by the Scottish Land Commission.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren added:
“There are many sites across Paisley and Renfrewshire which would benefit from such
action and I’m sure many residents and communities would support this new power.
“For too long developers have held onto historic properties and sites, letting them deteriorate year after year and eventually simply destroying essential parts of Paisley’s history – such as the Half Time School.
“It is disappointing that councils won’t have these powers until 2021 but at least that should give developers time to get their act together, knowing that councils will not be afraid to use these new powers when they become available.
“The former TA Hall in Paisley’s High Street and the former RAI buildings are a concern for many local buddies and once these new powers are in place I would be encouraging the council to act as swiftly as possible for some action on these sites. I am sure there are many other sites which would also benefit from such action.”