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Derelict Land and Property

Question Time — Scottish Executive — Environment and Rural Development – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 18th November 2004.

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Photo of Brian Adam Brian Adam Scottish National Party 2:00 pm, 18th November 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to address any negative impact on the environment of derelict land and property. (S2O-4073)

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

Scottish planning policy gives priority to the reuse not only of derelict land, but of vacant and underused land and buildings, which are sometimes referred to as brownfield land. The Executive has a number of funding streams, such as the £20 million vacant and derelict land fund, which aim to tackle the negative environmental impact of such sites.

Photo of Brian Adam Brian Adam Scottish National Party

I was particularly concerned about the impact of such areas on visitors to Scotland and on their perception of our cities. I refer in particular to the entry into Aberdeen from the airport and the north. Has the minister had any discussions with BEAR Scotland about the state of the roads in that area; with Aberdeen City Council about the actions that it can take on the roads that are under its control; and with the private sector about the state of derelict property and land, particularly along the A96?

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

I am sure that Brian Adam was not referring to the road as derelict land.

Two funds are available. The one to which I referred is the vacant and derelict land fund; there is also the more specialist contaminated land fund. Both funds are of the order of £20 million. In essence, the representations that we receive when we assess the priority for funding allocations come from local authorities; in Brian Adam's case, those representations would come from Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council. I am not aware of any specific such requests, but I would be happy to look into the site to which the member has referred.

Photo of Des McNulty Des McNulty Labour

The minister is perhaps aware that there are similar concerns in relation to West Dunbartonshire, which has an extensive run of vacant and derelict land along the Clyde. In the context of the regeneration of the Clyde and of the whole regeneration process in Clydebank, I would hope that, when vacant and derelict land is being considered this time, West Dunbartonshire will qualify, along with the City of Glasgow and North Lanarkshire, which benefited from the fund on the previous occasion.

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

I am sure that, when we assess the distribution of the funds, we will have to set priorities. There is not an unlimited amount of money; as I said, there is £20 million in each of the two funds that I mentioned. I have no doubt that the points that Des McNulty makes on the connection between Clydebank and the regeneration scheme in Glasgow will be taken into account in assessing those priorities.