The consultation on the Land Reform (Scotland) Bill at its Stage 1 process in Parliament is currently underway. It is important those interested in progressing land reform show their support for changes that are proposed, and where they could go further, by taking up the offer to write to the Committee.
Below is a guide to the headline messages Community Land Scotland is giving with regards to the key proposals of the Bill.
There is much to welcome but the Bill needs to be strengthened and improved.
- The general principles of the Bill
- The need for every Scottish Government to publish a Statement of Land Rights and Responsibilities
- The creation of a Land Commission to make land reform a continuous process of change
- Greater measures to make who owns Scotland more transparent
- The new Community Right to Buy to further sustainable development
- The re-introduction of `sporting rates’
- New powers to have deer numbers and impacts managed more effectively
- Improved rights for tenant farmers
The Bill needs to be stronger by –
- Embedding the progressive realisation of human rights, and the policy intent of delivering greater diversity in land ownership, into the purpose of the Statement on Land Rights and Responsibilities
- Toughening up the requirements for information from proprietors on who owns and benefits from ownership of Scotland’s land, by requiring certain information to be disclosed
- Giving further powers to Scottish Ministers to intervene in land ownership, in the public interest, to further sustainable development, and support the creation of new settlements
- Toughening up the requirement for land owners to engage with communities, and to seek their consent to local land management decisions
This is a very short summary of key messages. Community Land Scotland will publish its detailed submission to the Scottish Parliament in due course.
A fairer Scotland needs land reform.