National Planning Framework 4 (Derelict and Abandoned Buildings and Land)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 8th September 2022.

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Photo of Jackie Dunbar Jackie Dunbar Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government how the national planning framework 4 will help to address vacant, derelict and abandoned buildings and land, including across Aberdeen city. (S6O-01345)

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

We know that vacant and derelict land and buildings are a blight on communities, are challenging to deal with a nd often result in local authorities and other agencies bearing costs to keep them safe. The national planning framework 4 will change the way that we plan our places and support Scotland’s journey to becoming a net zero nation.

The draft NPF4, which was published in November 2021, proposes strengthening national planning policy to prioritise the reuse of vacant and derelict land and buildings in order to reduce impacts on communities and contribute to meeting our climate change targets. We are giving careful consideration to the wealth of views on the draft NPF4 from both the public and this Parliament in order to inform the final version. The finalised draft framework will be laid in Parliament once that process is complete.

Photo of Jackie Dunbar Jackie Dunbar Scottish National Party

Scotland has almost 11,000 hectares of vacant and derelict urban land. That means that almost a third of the Scottish population lives within 500m of a derelict site. These sites blight communities, harm wellbeing and limit opportunities, and they could be so much more. Will the minister outline what action is available to local authorities such as Aberdeen City Council to deal with these sites? Can he commit the Scottish Government to continuing to address them as a priority?

Photo of Tom Arthur Tom Arthur Scottish National Party

As the member will fully understand, local authorities can direct development to vacant and derelict land through their local development plans. In our draft national planning framework 4, we propose to strengthen national planning policy to prioritise development of vacant and derelict land. If approved by Parliament and adopted, our updated policies in the finalised NPF4 will directly influence planning decisions.

Our £50 million vacant and derelict land investment programme was launched in 2021 to complement our existing investment support for place-based regeneration across Scotland. We are keen for all authorities, including Aberdeen City Council, to work with their communities and other partners to develop suitable project proposals and apply to the programme.