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Land owner survey looks at community engagement

The Scottish Land Commission is opening a survey to look at how community engagement in decisions relating to land is currently undertaken in Scotland and wanting to hear from anyone with control over the way land is used or managed.

The Land Commission is supporting  land owners, land managers and communities to work together to make better – and fairer – decisions about land use with the publication of its first Protocol on Community Engagement in Decisions Relating to Land.

Clear and open community engagement in decisions relating to land can bring benefits to all parties involved creating better opportunities to engage, understand and influence potential change and opportunities.

The Commission’s Protocol supports the Guidance on engaging communities in decisions relating to land, which was published by the Scottish Government in April last year.  As part of this work the Commission wants to review the effectiveness of the guidance by taking a snapshot of how community engagement is currently undertaken in Scotland.  This will be used to find out more about the current level and measure the effectiveness of community engagement by those who own or manage land.

Helen Barton, Community Engagement Advisor at the Scottish Land Commission explains:

“We want to hear from anyone with control over the way land is used or managed in both urban and rural Scotland. The survey is relevant for all private and public sector owners of land and buildings, including individuals, companies, charities and trusts, non-governmental organisations and community owners. It is also relevant to tenants of any sort who have control over land.

“The information provided will not include any personal identifying information and we will collate and analyse the responses to see where there are trends by area and sector.

“It is important to get an idea of what community engagement is happening now to not only use as a baseline measure but also to see if there are any lessons we can learn from current practices.”

In the survey, the Commission will also be looking to find out how many respondents are aware of the Scottish Government’s guidance as well as the Commission’s own Protocol for Community Engagement, which sets out general and specific expectations for owners and managers of land.

The survey will be open for responses until the end of May.