Communities buy land because they want to regenerate and revitalise their place. Buyouts are often triggered by an event, such as a school closing, that makes the community realise their place is in decline and action needs to be taken. Once they own land, many development opportunities open up.
When we are talking about community land buyouts, we are normally referring to geographic communities. Only geographic communities can use the Community Right to Buy, Scottish Land Fund or be a member of Community Land Scotland. Community landowners must have open membership to people living in defined geographic area. This is so that everyone living in that area can contribute to and benefit from the buyout.
Each community will identify which projects to take forward based on the type of land and assets they own, what the community wants and the outcome of feasibility studies. Projects range from affordable housing and renewable energy projects to harbours and even plans for a spaceport!
Around 563,000 acres of land is currently owned by communities. That’s around three times the area of land owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
In the first instance contact the Big Lottery on 0300 123 7110 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you have done this you will be allocated a Scottish Land Fund Adviser to guide you through the process. The Advisers are employed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise due to their experience of guiding communities through the buyout process.
Contact the Scottish Government’s Community Land Team on 0300 244 9822. We would recommend contacting them as early in the process as possible if you are to maximise your chances of success.
Address: Community Land Team/ B1 Spur / Saughton House / Broomhouse Drive / Edinburgh / EH11 3XD
No, most of the land has been bought through negotiation with the seller and we are seeing more landowners willing to sell to communities. The Community Right to Buy is useful for land or buildings that communities feel is critical to the sustainable development of their place and that they want ensure they have the opportunity to buy, should they come up for sale.