Community Wealth Building – Delivering Transformation in Scotland’s Local and Regional Economies: A Briefing Paper for MSPs

 

This briefing paper has been prepared for MSPs in advance of the Scottish Government debate on ‘Community Wealth Building – Delivering Transformation in Scotland’s Local and Regional Economies’, taking place in Parliament on May 25th 2022. Community Land Scotland welcomes this timely debate and strongly supports community wealth building as a way of delivering the envisaged economic transformation at local and
regional levels. This paper illustrates the close links between community wealth building, land reform and a just transition to net zero.

Community Land Scotland contends that urgent priorities for action include the following:

  • Introduction of a public notification mechanism to ensure that significant private rural land sales do not take place in secret, thereby undermining the capacity of communities to engage in the land market and contribute to community wealth building though community ownership of land and other assets;
  • Introduction of a public interest test on significant land transfers, and on significant existing landholdings, within the forthcoming Land Reform Bill that will be ‘fit for purpose’ in terms of providing robust and proportionate scrutiny of such transfers and of the management of such
    landholdings;
  • Amendment of the existing suite of Community Rights to Buy to ensure they are ‘fit for purpose’ in terms of contributing to the Scottish Government’s policy objective of diversifying Scotland’s concentrated pattern of land ownership, by facilitating more rural and urban community ownership of land and other assets;
  • Creation of a Community Wealth Fund of at least £100 million, supported by revenues generated from the first round of Crown Estate Scotland’s ‘Scotwind’ seabed leasing programme for new offshore renewable wind energy sites, to enable communities to own and develop land and other assets in ways that transform Community Wealth Building principles into practice locally.