Boost to Help Transform Vacant and Derelict Land

Derelict Land Relief

On the 19th December 2020 the Scottish Government announced a £50 million, five year programme to aid in transforming vacant and derelict land. With over 11,000 hectares of registered land and possible more not registered, this is great news.

The Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“This new £50 million programme will help to transform Scotland’s vacant and derelict land as part of a green recovery that supports all communities.

“Scotland currently has more than 11,000 hectares of registered vacant and derelict land which offers significant potential to be brought back to positive use to the benefit of communities.

“By prioritising such sites, and protecting our existing natural capital, we will ensure that future infrastructure investment goes into areas where it is needed the most, revitalising communities, town centres, and promoting 20 minute neighbourhoods.

“The policies and proposals in the Climate Change Plan update set us on the right path to deliver our net-zero target by 2045. Importantly, it highlights the need for a place-based approach, with the involvement of communities and individuals, to get us there.”

The full press release from the Scottish Government can be read by clicking here.

This financial boost follows the recommendations from the Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce and supports a fair, green recovery, as set out earlier this week in the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan update. The investment will help to meet climate change targets and promote the health, wellbeing, and resilience of communities.

The sites that will benefit from the funding will offer opportunities for reuse that help tackle climate change, such as: low carbon, quality, affordable housing; woodland and other greenspaces; low carbon commercial and industrial developments; flood prevention measures; district heating and other community renewables projects.

However, if your site doesn’t qualify for the programme or you are outside of Scotland, you may be interested in one of our other service offerings, which allows companies to claim tax relief on the costs of remediating land.

Tell me more I here you say, well Land Remediation Relief is unfortunately only available to companies but works in a similar way to R&D tax relief by giving an uplift to the qualifying costs and also the availability to surrender a loss for cash back from HMRC.

The accounting treatment of the costs will dictate how much relief can be claimed by your company but simply, 150% is tax deductible being the original 100% spend together with an extra 50%. The qualifying costs that can form part of the claim include claim staff costs, materials and subcontracted costs.

The relief applies to both land and property owners as well as leaseholders, with at least seven years of their lease left to run, who have spent money removing or treating contaminants that were put there by others. These contaminants include asbestos, radon and Japanese Knotweed.

In addition, the relief also applies to costs incurred in bringing any vacant and derelict land back into use, where the land has been derelict from the earlier of 1 April 1998 and the date of acquisition.

If you think you or your clients may have incurred expenditure that could qualify for this relief click here for our LRR article or contact Alan or Lois directly.