Fragmentation of landowning was the final objective of a campaign led by the Green Party, the SNP’s coalition partner, said Mark Tennant, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, the representative body for landowners and rural businesses.
Nicola Sturgeon’s Government is working on a Land Reform Bill to ‘ensure that our land is owned, managed, and used in ways that rise to the challenges of today: net zero, nature restoration, and a just transition’.
“Land reform seems to permeate almost every one of their policies and is their No1 top priority aside from independence,” Mr Tennant told guests at an SLE reception in London. “We will not stop land reform, but we will do all we can to protect property rights and reduce the negative impact on our members.
“We will also continue to seek areas where we can develop positive changes and increase good practice. Land reform as currently proposed represents the biggest threat to landowning and the prosperity of rural Scotland in my lifetime.
“At its heart is the simple proposition that ‘too few people own too much land’, an assertion for which its proponents have not a shred of evidence.”
Mr Tennant said current Government policy on housing, led by the Greens, would lead to a diminution of affordable let housing in rural areas. Referring to Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants' Rights, he said: “The Minister is driven by an anti-landlord ideology and disregards evidence provided by the sector.”
Also speaking at the event, sponsored by Galbraith along with the law firm Brodies and the accountants Saffery Champness, was Baroness Davidson who as Ruth Davidson led the Scottish Conservative Party.