Cllr MacLaren welcomes report on tackling derelict land sites

“There are plenty of areas within Paisley and Renfrewshire which could benefit from the suggestions within this report”, said Councillor Kenny MacLaren (SNP – Paisley Northwest), commenting on a new report by the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce, set up last year by the Scottish Land Commission and SEPA.

This report proposes, among other things, the use of rich data Scotland has about vacant and derelict sites to promote opportunities for re-use of land. Vacant and derelict sites could be used for new housing, new allotment and parks as well as attracting investment for jobs and industry.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Too much land in Scotland is currently unused. The Scottish Government recognises the huge opportunity that represents, and it’s our priority to ensure that as much of that land as possible is unlocked – acting as a catalyst for community and environmental regeneration.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren added:

“Bringing these unloved urban spaces back into productive use can play a major role in reducing social inequalities; addressing climate change; improving health and delivering inclusive growth.

“However, it is a concern that the Scottish Land Commission haven’t looked at the Annual Ground Rent (www.annualgroundrent.scot) model as a potential solution to bringing derelict sites back into use. Information from the Annual Ground Rent campaign highlights that taxing the land – depending on its use – could easily replace business tax and encourage all landowners to use their land and property more productively.”

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