Scottish Government Consultation on The Future Of Land Reform in Scotland
The Scottish Government has now published its consultation on land reform and the outcome of this process is likely to have far-reaching implications for the land management sector, as well as rural and urban landowners, in Scotland.
Among the key points for consultation within the Scottish Government document are:-
- Ending current business rate exemptions for shootings and deer forests
- Requiring landowners to release or sell land where they are seen as a ‘barrier’ to development
- Restricting ownership of land to companies / trusts registered within the European Union
- A change to succession law to remove the distinction between movable and immovable property, which could lead to the breakup of family landholdings at the time of inheritance
- Handling the forthcoming recommendations of the Agricultural Holdings Legislation Review Group within the proposed Land Reform Bill rather than through standalone legislation
- Ensuring land, including privately owned land, is used for the ‘common good’
- The creation of a new Scottish Land Reform Commission
- An extension of community right to buy legislation over ‘neglected or abandoned’ land in urban areas
The consultation opened yesterday (December 2) and will run until 10 February 2015.
Iain Russell, chairman of CKD Galbraith, said:
“The outcome of the land reform consultation will have broad implications for landowners in Scotland, especially for rural businesses, and we would encourage everyone with such an interest to read the document and make their views known. The potential ending of business rate exemptions on sporting estates has been well publicised but there is much more within the consultation that will affect rural businesses of all sizes, including how land is used for the ‘common good’ and the way in which holdings are legally owned and registered. There is also the issue of succession and compelling landowners to release land where there is a ‘barrier’ to development that needs to be addressed. While more clarity is required from government to see exactly what form land reform will take in the coming months and years, CKD Galbraith agents are available to discuss the consultation."