South Scotland SNP MSP, Emma Harper, is meeting with the Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, Andrew Thin, early next month to discuss derelict land and abandoned buildings across the MSP’s South Scotland Region.
Following the Scottish Land Commission’s report – Transforming Scotland’s Approach to Vacant and Derelict Land – produced last October, Ms Harper has identified a number of sites across Dumfries and Galloway that are not contained within the Derelict Land Register and interactive map function on the Scottish Land Commission’s website. These sites include the George Hotel in Stranraer, Mercury Motor Inn in Moffat, and the Repeater Station in Stranraer, to name a few.
In a letter to the Scottish Land Commission, Ms Harper expressed her interest in the work of the Derelict Land Taskforce and their recommendations for changes to Scottish Government policy, to better address and tackle derelict land and buildings, which is an issue across many communities in Scotland.
Ms Harper commented;
“I have been supporting several projects across the region in relation to derelict land and abandoned buildings which are not only an eye-sore for our local communities, but often pose greater dangers and health risks to the people who live near them. Most recently I have been investigating the site at the former Gates Factory where a huge fire took place just a few weeks ago.
“I have written to the Scottish Government to ask which of the recommendations from the October 2020 Scottish Land Commission Report into derelict land and vacant buildings in Scotland it intends to implement, and what its timescales for implementation are.
“I am also meeting Andrew Thin, Chair of the Scottish Land Commission, who seem to not have included many of our South Scotland derelict buildings on their register and interactive map.
“Identifying these sites, is one of the first steps to tackling the problem of derelict buildings which could otherwise be put to good use. Abandoned buildings soon fall into disrepair and as we’ve seen with the former Gates Factory, can cause alarm and damage to the health of our local communities”.