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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06492: Richard Lochhead (Moray)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 24 January 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what powers local authorities have to compulsory purchase privately-owned, vacant high street shop units, and what guidance or assistance is available for this purpose.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 3 February 2017

Local authority powers to compulsorily acquire land are to be found in various general Acts of Parliament. The purpose for which the authority seeks to acquire land will determine whether it has relevant powers and which power is most appropriate.

The 2016 Programme for Government committed Scottish Ministers to introduce interim measures to modernise compulsory purchase orders in advance of legislation over this parliament and work is already underway to review the current framework for dealing with these. We are also exploring how best the intended Compulsory Sales Orders legislation can complement Compulsory Purchase Orders to ensure more effective use of vacant land and derelict land.

Scottish Government policy and guidance on the use of existing compulsory purchase powers can be found in Circular 6/2011: Compulsory Purchase Orders which is available at www.gov.scot/Publications/2011/10/21133522/3. Scottish Ministers can also offer a technical examination of a draft Compulsory Purchase Order. The aim of these examinations is to reduce subsequent delays and the period of uncertainty for people affected.