RUTHERGLEN POLITICIANS WELCOME NEW PROPOSED COUNCIL POWERS TO TACKLE DERELICT LAND

For immediate release:

RUTHERGLEN POLITICIANS WELCOME NEW PROPOSED COUNCIL POWERS TO TACKLE DERELICT LAND

Local MSP Clare Haughey and Rutherglen Central and North Councillor Janine Calikes have welcomed Scottish Government confirmation that local authorities will be given ‘compulsory sale order’ (CSO) powers by 2021 in order to encourage owners of land and buildings to use their assets.

The plan to bring in CSOs by the end of this Scottish parliamentary term would allow councils to force owners to sell such sites at auction rather than allowing them to lie empty and fall into disrepair, if they are seen to be causing harm to local communities.

Shona Glenn, head of policy and research at the Scottish Land Commission who recommended the proposal to the Scottish Government, said the policy is not concerned with “just any old property or site, it’s ones that actively cause harm”.

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has said the announcement is “good news for the local communities in Rutherglen and Cambuslang”, whilst Cllr Calikes referenced how it could be potentially used with the vacant land at the old Rutherglen Baths site.

Commenting, Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey said:

“I very much welcome the Scottish Government’s confirmation that councils will soon be granted compulsory sale order powers.

“For too long, developers have held onto valuable buildings and sites allowing them to deteriorate and damage our local landscape. This not only diminishes the quality of life for those living or working in the area, but can also act as a deterrent for inward investment too.

“These powers could play a vital role as we help tackle the blight of abandoned buildings in our communities.

“Of course, there are legitimate concerns about the fate of some historic buildings and the potential of overburdening local councils, but I’m confident the Scottish Government’s Planning Minister will take this into account before the policy comes into force by 2021.”

Cllr Janine Calikes added:

“There are areas in my ward, such as the site of the old Rutherglen Baths on Greenhill Road, which have been purchased by developers and left to rot.

“Local constituents contact me regularly to enquire about this site in particular as they would like to see the fenced-off eyesore brought into community use. I have tried to contact the owners of the property many, many times to ask what they intend to do with the land, but sadly they have never replied to me.”

It is estimated that there are more than 3,000 sites of land lying derelict across Scotland and more than 30,000 empty homes, and CSOs could be one step in bringing a number of these back into usage.

ENDS

Notes:

Further information can be found here: https://www.scotsman.com/business/new-powers-will-allow-councils-to-order-sale-of-scotland-s-derelict-sites-1-4852359

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