I’ve just left the Insider magazine headline as it was. Can’t really improve on it. I know the Greens are not always as disciplined as I’d like re supporting the movement but they are in principle independence supporting so credit to them for this idea and I hope the SNP are ‘man enough’ to embrace it. According to their research published by the sturdy Andy Wightman:
- there are 12,763 hectares of vacant land north of the Border
- 69% could be developed
- Bottom of Form
- Top of Form
- Bottom of Form
- a tax on vacant land in Scotland could raise £200m a year for public services
- Glasgow has 782 derelict sites, North Lanarkshire 487, North Ayrshire 281 and Edinburgh, where house prices are the highest of any Scottish city, 76
- in 2016, 30% of Scotland’s population lived within 500 metres of a derelict site.
- that rose to 59 per cent for those in the most deprived areas
- bringing such sites into the non-domestic rates system could raise cash to build affordable homes and tackle the housing crisis
‘The Scottish Government , in rejecting bolder land reform legislation last year, promised to consult on the taxation of derelict and vacant land and I hope this paper brings that forward. Given the lack of affordable housing and continuing financial pressures on public services, it’s unacceptable that landowners can profit from withholding land suitable for housing. There is growing political consensus in Scotland that we need big changes to tackle the housing crisis, so let’s not be timid when it comes to giving local councils the power to tax vacant and derelict land.’
That looks like good constructive criticism the SNP should and can take heed of.
To see a comprehensive list, see: