Marco Biagi, MSP for Edinburgh Central, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s plan on giving urban communities more say on unused land and derelict properties as good for Edinburgh.

The proposed Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill would extend the right of communities to buy land in their area and place a duty on local authorities to provide more space for allotments.

Commenting on the proposed details, Marco Biagi MSP said, “These plans could provide a much needed light at the end of a tunnel for a number of derelict sites in the city that local communities have had fantastic though ambitious ideas to renovate. We all know of sites around central Edinburgh with considerable community interest in preservation.

“Gorgie City Farm is now a prized asset but long ago was itself a community purchase of unused public land in the city. The Crags Sports Centre was also transferred to a community trust from council ownership much more recently. Local groups with similar ambitions deserve the chance to repeat that success across Scotland.

“No-one knows more about what local communities need than those living there. It’s important that residents, who have watched long neglected sites sit empty in their area, respond to the Scottish Governments consultation on the proposals detailing their thoughts on what could be achieved through community ownership.”