RTPI Scotland has welcomed the recommendations of the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce which aim to transform how Scotland tackles the legacy of derelict land and ensure that land doesn’t to fall into long term disrepair. The recommendations aim to make better use of data to drive decisions, align policy and funding to support delivery, stem the flow of new sites and tackle the legacy. They include a call to resource Chief Planning Officers so that they can coordinate and lead on vacant and derelict land at a local level.
RTPI Scotland Director Craig McLaren – who was a member of the taskforce - said “These recommendations can help stimulate the change we need to tackle the blight of vacant and derelict land. They very much chime with the RTPI’s Plan The World We Need research and campaign which has highlighted how governments must capitalise on the expertise of spatial planners to tackle place-based inequality, enable a green industrial revolution, prioritise healthy and sustainable modes of transport and coordinate the rapid deployment of zero carbon infrastructure. As part of this, the public sector needs to take a more active role in development and so the new National Planning Framework should put derelict sites that have been unused for a long time as a top priority. Fixing up ‘brownfield’ sites, or sites that used to have buildings on them, should be a priority in the next national Infrastructure Investment Plan.”
He continued “We are also happy to do our bit in exploring how innovative planning policies that can support the reuse of vacant and derelict land and by helping develop planners’ skills and knowledge on the issues faced.”
Details of the Taskforce’s recommendations can be found here.