economy Strategy

Dumfries and Galloway Council looking to tackle "blight" of empty and abandoned buildings

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Dumfries and Galloway Council is looking to tackle the “blight” of empty and abandoned buildings in the region.Members of the economy and resources committee this week agreed a draft strategy on vacant and derelict land and property.And the authority is looking for greater powers from Holyrood to deal with eyesore sites.The aim of the strategy is to build the local economy by re-using unoccupied land and invest in places which need it most with particular focus on town centres.Katie Hagmann, chairwoman of the committee, said: “Vacant and derelict land and property can blight communities, harm wellbeing, and limit opportunities.“Due to rising inflation costs, particularly impacting on the construction sector, it is vital the council identifies and considers all funding options available to address the vacant and derelict land across our region, so it can be repurposed into areas and buildings that are vital to our local communities.”A consultation held earlier this year found that 34 per cent of respondents lived within 500m of a derelict building or vacant land.And 65 per cent of them said this had an impact on how they felt about the area they lived in.Of the 791 responses, 90 per cent wanted these sites prioritised for redevelopment and 93 per cent said the sites made their area less attractive.The former Interfloor factory in Dumfries, the old Central Hotel in Annan and the George Hotel in Stranraer were among the locations identified by people responding to the survey.Lochar ward councillor Ivor Hyslop warned that the authority had to tread carefully to avoid being left with a huge bill for dealing with derelict sites such as the former Heathhall factory building in his ward.He said: “With regards to compulsory

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