HC Deb 16 May 1994 vol 243 cc369-70W
Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made as to the areas in which industrial development is inhibited by lack of land supply.

Mr. Stewart

[holding answer 12 May 1994]: The latest figures from the 1992 industrial sites register show that there is a versatile supply of sites for business and industry in Scotland. At present rates of uptake, and even after excluding land on large sites of over 50 hectares which are generally reserved long term for single users, there is still some 25 years supply at national level. Most sites are available for development within one year and have either the benefit of planning permission or allocation in a development plan.

No planning authority has indicated through the data which the authorities provide for the ISR that industrial development is being inhibited by a lack of land supply. The table, compiled from the industrial sites register, indicates the pattern of supply for 1992.

Supply of industrial sites and land by region, 1992
Region Number of sites Area (hectares)
Borders 26 58
Central 23 399
Dumfries and Galloway 33 148
Fife 65 632
Grampian 114 528
Highland 121 2,042
Lothian 93 811
Strathclyde 370 1,949
Tayside 96 308
Orkney 4 7
Western Isles 2 2
Shetland 17 587
Total 964 7,471

The issue of supply at the local level was addressed in national planning policy guideline 2—land for business and industry, October 1993. It is stated that planning authorities should have regard to the objective of providing not only an adequate amount of marketable land for business and industry but an improved choice and range in terms of quality, size and location. It stated that local plans should update the supply by re-allocating sites which stand little chance of development to suitable alternative uses, and find additional sites of high quality, especially for business class development.

The enterprise bodies, of course, also have a remit to ensure that business establishment and growth is not constrained by a lack of suitable sites and to work with the private sector to redress failures in the industrial property market. We would therefore expect the local enterprise companies to work, with others, to tackle situations which arise where lack of suitable land was inhibiting development.

Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made as to the supply of industrial accommodation in the 10,000 sq ft and above range in the west of Scotland; and what plans he has to address any shortfall.

Mr. Stewart

[holding answer 12 May 1994]: My right hon. Friend has made no such assessment. Scottish Enterprise does, however, hold data on industrial property and, following consultation with the Locate in Scotland office, believes that there' is a reasonable supply of industrial units up to 15,000 sq ft in size. Scottish Enterprise is, consequently, seeking to secure the provision of larger industrial units where there are only limited numbers available.

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